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Sonance sound system in the manor house lyndly event space

Case study: Sonance at Manor House Lindley

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Case study: Sonance at Manor House Lindley

When it comes to boutique style hospitality at this luxury hotel and wedding venue, this discreet, high performance audio installation by Sonance was really the only option…

Sonance sound system in the manor house lyndly event space

With a blend of high style, distinctive interior design and personal service, the privately owned Manor House Hotel aims to offer its guests the experience of luxury through the quality of its accommodation, communal areas and purpose designed wedding and events spaces. Located at Lindley near Huddersfield, the boutique hotel comprises eleven bedrooms, four individually themed bars and restaurants, a roof terrace and a gym. There is also a discreet wedding and events venue called the Coach House, a versatile space designed to accommodate up to 200 guests and complete with a private musical garden. Making time spent at the Manor House truly memorable, a service-first mentality conveys a strong sense of bespoke hospitality within a range of meticulously curated environments, all of which include the necessity for discreet high-performance audio in sympathy with their design. Installer Smart Synergy was challenged to create a discreet AV installation that made a beautifully boutique experience even more distinctive, and opting for Sonance would fulfil the brief at every level.

“Perfecting the sound at the Manor House was complicated somewhat by the fact that it’s a listed building,” explained Shaun Hawkins of installers Smart Synergy. “So we had to be super sensitive with the design, and not just with the way it looked; we also had to eliminate the transfer of sound from social to private spaces within older architecture. The brief demanded a level of sound quality and design you just can’t buy off the shelf.”

As a result of the detailed specifications, Sonance Pro Series speakers were perfect for the project. The Sonance Pro Series is a range of 70V/100V/8 ohm selectable In-Ceiling, Pendant and Surface Mount Speakers, designed to deliver high fidelity with extremely low distortion, wide dispersion and smooth power response. The range shares consistent voicing, ensuring seamless sonic integration when used together throughout a space. The Pro Series speakers are powered entirely by Sonance Sonamp digital amplifiers.

The outdoor space was as important as indoors, and these areas feature a mix of Sonance Mariner on-wall speakers and Son Array in-ground satellites and subs. AV distribution is through Wyrestorm’s Network HD 400 architecture and hotel security is supported by Dahua, involving five 4MP IP eyeball dome cameras and an eight channel NVR.

“There’s a growing desire for discreet high sound quality within the UK’s luxury hospitality sector,” said Hawkins.” This may come from the US where discriminating customers associate the quality of the venue with its ability to get the audio just right. The advantage for resi CI integrators is that their skill sets have developed to achieve this level of fine tuning.’’ He added: “The Manor House was Smart Synergy’s first boutique hotel install and something of a dream job. We knew the product and the support we’d get from Habitech, and we applied our skills and competences to relatively simple tech for a customer who understood the value of quality and wanted the very best.”

This meeting of the period interiors of The Manor House, with cutting edge technology facilitated by Habitech, along with the creativity of Sonance products which are designed to disappear rather than dominate a space, has created a bespoke sound solution that goes beyond the ordinary to transform a space and the events it is designed to accommodate through attention to detail at every level.

Since you’re here, why not read about how Sonance fitted out the audio inside The Hendrick’s Gin Palace?  

Habitech is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Habitech / Manor House Lindley

The Retreat inside The Londoner

How The Londoner created a new dialogue between design & wellness

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How The Londoner created a new dialogue between design & wellness

Sitting majestically above Leicester Square, in its very own island site, The Londoner took the design and architecture community’s breath away when it opened in 2021. One year on, Editor Hamish Kilburn meets Rob Steul, the Creative Director of Edwardian Hotels to learn more about the unparalleled design and wellness narrative…

The Retreat inside The Londoner

It was one of the most ambitious architecture and hotel development projects that Leicester Square had ever seen. The plans for the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel, The Londoner, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, engineer experts at Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe, reportedly cost £5 million and included 15-storeys of innovative design and architecture. 

Rob Steul, the Creative Director of Edwardian Hotels, was the puppet master – AKA architect – behind the magnificent and innovative performance. Due to urban planning height restrictions, Steul and his team proposed a 30-metre subterranean series of spaces on six levels, which created the deepest habitable basement in London and among the deepest in the world – a factor that presented a plethora of architectural, structural and engineering challenges for all involved.

As the hotel moves close to its one year anniversary – a milestone in itself considering the unpredictable landscape along with travel restrictions that the hotel opened within – Hotel Designs, in association with AXOR and Hansgrohe, caught up with Steul to understand how, as well as architecture, the hotel has reached new heights (or depths is perhaps more apt) in wellness and wellbeing.

Hansgrohe is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Hansgrohe

A modern bathroom with shower and glass screens overlooking skyline of city at night

6 smart bathroom technology products for 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
6 smart bathroom technology products for 2022

With evolution of technology in the bathroom arguably out-running any other area of the hotel, Hotel Designs, in association with Plumb It, has identified six savvy and smart bathroom ideas that should be on the radar of all interior designers and architects…

A modern bathroom with shower and glass screens overlooking skyline of city at night

“Technology and water do not mix.” Never has a saying been more inaccurate than it is today when taking a glance at how smart hotel bathroom design is transforming. In fact, following the innovations that we launched at CES 2022, it’s safe to say that the bathroom is currently the epicentre of innovation, with tech influencing an evolution in function as well as form (and sustainable initiatives) in products such as toilets, showers, bathrooms, taps and even smart mirrors.

With new tech, though, comes confusion. This is why we, in partnership with Plumb It, have taken the time to identify six smart bathroom technologies that we believe have the power to challenge the conventional approach to bathroom design.

1) The shower toilet

Image of urban large bathroom

Image credit: Geberit

Although not an obvious nor new piece of technology, it’s remarkable to see how popular the shower toilet has become worldwide. Brands such as Geberit, Toto and Euro Bathrooms are providing a no-hassle, gentle and natural way to clean, which is far more sustainable. Geberit AquaClean products, for example, allow users to save more energy by individually adjusting the product settings, thus giving them the option to reduce their environmental impact even further. In standby mode (economy mode), all AquaClean models, which fulfil the European eco-design requirements (ErP directives), consume less than 0.5 watts of energy in total.

2) The spa bath

There was a lot of hype in Las Vegas earlier this month at CES 2022, where bathroom brand Kohler displayed its Infinity Experience Freestanding Bath, which comes complete with LED lighting effects, and relaxing fog that has been inspired by Japanese hot springs. Well, it seems Kohler is not alone in its predictions that the bathrooms of tomorrow will have an even stronger emphasis on experience. Two years ago, Toto launched its weightless bathing experience. More recently, the whirlpool and airpool system baths by Phoenix Bathrooms takes wellness to new levels by also using sensory design. The Ancona + System 3 luxury bath features underwater, fully rotating colour-kinetic LED lighting, variable three-speed airpool blowers that allow finite and customisable adjustment and an inline heater that maintains a consistent water temperature during bathing.

3) Smart eco showers

Hansgrohe EcoSmart handshower

Image credit: hansgrohe

A smart shower does not have to read you the news or play your favourite playlist while you are washing. For the sake of this editorial, smart means intuitive. The technology inside the hansgrohe EcoSmart happens behind the scenes. The showers and taps equipped with EcoSmart technology consume up to 60 per cent less water than conventional products. This not only means that you use less water, but also need less energy to heat the water – good news for the planet, and good news for your client’s pocket.

4) Mirrored art

The hotel design industry has seen the rise (and arguably the fall) of smart mirrors in the bathroom. When creating a tranquil space that encourages users to ‘switch off’, the idea of a smart TV becomes somewhat outdated. However, with the bathroom being predominantly a practical space, good lighting is an essential element. The Edison mirror by Origins Living, which comes in a variety of sizes, is more like atmospheric wall art than simply a reflective surface. Users can create their individual ambience with colour temperature control from warm to cool white lighting, adding texture and practicality to the bathroom experience.

5) Touchless demands

Even before 2020, prior to when the world become transfixed on hygienic solutions, touchless technology was a common element in public restrooms (in and outside the hotel arena). Since the pandemic, though, consumers’ demands for contactless has sky-rocketed – and brands such as Roca were prepared with resolutions. The Roca EM1 Flush Valve, for example, has been developed as a touchless option for either public or private bathrooms.

Thanks to an integrated infrared sensor, the flush button detects the movement of a hand and activates the flush automatically without contact, avoiding the spreading of viruses and the growth of bacteria. Roca’s EM1 mechanism allows you to choose between full and half flush volumes which can be easily adjusted to flush at 6/4, 4.5/3 or 4/2 litres, helping you to save your annual water usage with no electrical installation needed. It simply works on four AA batteries that provides more than 40,000 flushes.

6) Sustainable & durable baths

Crafted from Biolux, Ashton & Bentley has launched a freestanding bath that has been made from 100 per cent from an eco-friendly alternative to natural stone. The Biome Range is created for the eco-conscious and curated for harmony; a selection of modern classic freestanding baths and complementing countertop basins and freestanding washbasins. Roca’s designs are where engineering meets art – high impact visual statements of sculpted beauty created with Ashton & Bentley’s signature quality and craftsmanship. The gentle silhouettes and organic curves of the Biome Range connect contemporary ergonomic design with nature while nurturing sanctuary and wellbeing.

Plumb It is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Kohler

Render of Somewhere Else in The Bahamas, by Pharrell Williams and David Grutman

Pharrell Williams and David Grutman to open hotel in The Bahamas

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Pharrell Williams and David Grutman to open hotel in The Bahamas

The 13-time Grammy rapper, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams and nightclub entrepreneur David Grutman have announced that they will open a new lifestyle hotel in 2024. Set the be the creative duo’s largest hospitality project, Somewhere Else, will be located on a small island just off Nassau in The Bahamas. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Render of Somewhere Else in The Bahamas, by Pharrell Williams and David Grutman

It’s not the first time celebrities have dipped their toe in the hospitality waters, with the likes of Hugh Jackman, Donatella Versace, Elizabeth Hurley and of course Robert De Niro among A-listers owning hotels. The recent addition to the list includes Pharrell Williams and David Grutman who in 2021 opened The Goodtime Hotel to rave reviews.

Less than a year later, the pair have tasked design and architecture studio Rockwell Group to bring to life their next hotel vision of a design-forward lifestyle hotel in The Bahamas.

“Throughout the resort, there will be a strong emphasis on indoor-outdoor flows with flush, freeform landscaping.”

The new hotel will be situated on Atlantis Paradise Island, in a building that has been, until now, referred to as The Beach – and was the island’s first hotel, originally designed by the late Morris Lapidus who was a leader of the vivacious ‘Miami-modern’ style.

The 400-key hotel, named Somewhere Else, is slated to open its doors in 2024 and will shelter multiple F&B outlets and  bungalows featuring recording studios. Throughout the resort, there will be a strong emphasis on indoor-outdoor flows with flush, freeform landscaping. Williams referred to the project as “tropical modernism” in a recent interview.

The design of the property will be led by Shawn Sullivan, Partner at Rockwell Group. The overall aesthetic will take inspiration from topography of the landscape. The latest renders show a water-coloured depiction of a flamingo pink-trimmed building. On the site, the hotel will feature cascading pools that draw the eye towards the sea and polychrome room concepts with flashes of colour, CNN reports.

Despite this project being Williams and Gutman’s largest and most complex development undertaking to date, the 13-time Grammy winner and the nightclub entrepreneur have previously completed two other hospitality ventures; Miami-based restaurant The Swan and The Goodtime Hotel.

Main render credit: Somewhere Else/Rockwell Group

The House Collective

Weekly digest: Eco hotel openings, tech updates & Vegas developments

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly digest: Eco hotel openings, tech updates & Vegas developments

Roll up, roll up! Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly digest. If you’re drowning in work, hurtling towards deadlines or are unable to scour the net for design and hospitality news, then this is the only article you need to read about the latest hotel openings and news to be stay in the loop…

The House Collective

In this week’s digest, there’s a lot to cover – from technology hit and misses at CES 2022 to Regent Hotels’ debut property Vietnam, and even our feature that follows our cheeky trip to the Harrison Spinks farm. Having looked at the analytics, this month’s news is largely dominated by hotel openings, which come in all shapes, sizes and styles – and this week has been no exception with a number of sneak peeks garnering a lot of attention.

From all the headlines that we have published, here are the most significant.

How the design scene is embracing Net Zero initiatives

coastal bedroom designed using net zero principles and sutainable materials

Image credit: Perkins&Will

With Net Zero fast becoming the buzzword of 2022, along with conversations around sustainability and the importance of working towards a circular economy, and brands such as GROHEHarrison Spinks and Room2 pledging to become Net Zero, design studio Perkins&Will has published a report which identifies the steps it is taking – and what other design studios could be doing – to create Net Zero projects by 2030.

Read more.

On the farm with Harrison Spinks

Image caption: Each interior design scheme has been themed to celebrate the locality of the farm, such as Fenton, my hut, which is a nod to RAF Church Fenton. | Image credit: Harrison Spinks

Image caption: Each interior design scheme has been themed to celebrate the locality of the farm, such as Fenton, my hut, which is a nod to RAF Church Fenton. | Image credit: Harrison Spinks

In the heart of the Yorkshire countryside – slap-bang between Leeds and York – editor Hamish Kilburn arrived on the 300-acre farm where the Harrison Spinks journey evolved into one that was centred around sustainable and innovative initiatives. From understanding the benefits of hemp to seeing how the bed manufacturer is keeping British manufacturing alive, Hotel Designs was given full access for 48 hours to understand why the bed and mattress manufacturer is commonly referred to as ‘the true bedmakers’.

Read more.

Hard Rock Hotels to transform the Las Vegas strip

guitar shaped hard rock hotel in las vegas

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotels

Hospitality and entertainment company Hard Rock International, has announced its agreement to acquire The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from MGM Resorts International. Having made history in 2019 with designing the first ever guitar-shaped hotel for its Florida expansion, Hard Rock is planning to add to its guitar collection by building  its second guitar-shaped hotel, this time on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

Read more.

The technology products that hit and missed at CES 2022

A stillness bath by Kohler

Image credit: Kohler

Quiet floors, a lack of international travellers and it all coming to close a day early due to the organisers facing pressures from travel restrictions and the Covid-19 crisis: is this really the same CES that dominated the world’s attention every January with the biggest tech show on earth? Well, the answer is ‘no’ but for good and healthy reasons for the hotel technology sector.

Read more.

Regent Hotels to arrive in Vietnam this spring

Regent Phu Quoc villa with swimming pool over looking the lagoon on long beach vietnam

Image credit: Regent Hotels & Resorts

IHG Hotels & Resorts will launch the first resort from its recently acquired, leading luxury brand, Regent Hotels & Resorts this Spring in South East Asia. Situated off the southwest coast of Vietnam, alongside a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve, Regent Phu Quoc will usher in a new era for this heritage brand, offering guests 176 spectacular suites and 126 spacious villas, set against the serene waterfront backdrop of Long Beach.

Read more.

Nordic Hotels to open Sommerro in Oslo this year

Scandic climate neutral hotel guestroom

Image credit: Scandic Hotels

Nordic Hotels & Resorts has announced that it is bringing one of Oslo’s most iconic buildings back to life as Sommerro – a new luxury hotel set to open its doors in September 2022.

Read more.

The Set Collection adds four new properties to portfolio

fireplace and lounge area in the Upper House in Hong Kong

Image credit: The House Collective

In an exciting marriage of East and West, this the first chapter in an organisation that looks set to disrupt the traditional models of what went before, while doing justice to the reputation and success of the iconic properties present at its start.

“I cannot think of a better group of hotels to be our first new members than The House Collective,” said Jean-Luc Naret, Executive Director of The Set Collection.

Read more.

And one for the January blues: Vibrant, story-telling hotel art for optimistic times

breaking boundaries by Frances Bildner

With coming out of lockdown and the latest omicron fears easing up, it’s time to look forward to some fresh outlooks. Frances Bildner of Frances Bildner Expressive Arts produces and sells dynamic artwork to hotels, other businesses and residences and is no stranger on Hotel Designs‘ radar. Her paintings often tell stories, albeit abstract ones, and enhance interior design schemes by injecting vitality to the environment. Her paintings, described by New York’s Village Voice as being “vital enough to convert even the most jaded of people”, bring life and colour to empty walls.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 60,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

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Main image credit: The House Collective

Boka-Place-Rooftop

EXCLUSIVE: Introducing SIRO, the new holistic wellbeing brand from Kerzner

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EXCLUSIVE: Introducing SIRO, the new holistic wellbeing brand from Kerzner

Kerzner International, the company behind One&Only, Atlantis Resorts and Residences and Magazan Beach & Golf Resort, has announced it is creating a pioneering new hospitality brand designed to sit at the convergence of travel, fitness, health and wellbeing. Here’s what we know about SIRO…

Boka-Place-Rooftop

Kerzner International has launched SIRO (Strength, Inclusive, Reflection and Original), a new hospitality brand that’s purpose will be to offer a balanced wellbeing experience for guests aspiring to become a healthier, more energised and rejuvenated version of themselves. The forward-thinking aim will be nurtured by SIRO’s engaging environment, supported by experts in a suite of health-related specialisms and made especially memorable by opportunities to experience destinations urban –  from urban jungles to serene countryside – through the lens of fitness.

The holistic wellbeing brand’s first property will be located in Boka Place, a new neighbourhood in the luxury marina destination of Porto Montenegro. Combining a 96-guestroom hotel and 144 managed residences, SIRO Boka Place is being designed by London-based design studio Atellior, and is slated for completion by the end of 2023.

“It is always very exciting to create the first property for a new hospitality brand and this is particularly so with SIRO because it is such a forward-looking concept – destinations of excellence forging an approach to fitness and wellbeing that meets the aspirations of modern, global lifestyles,” Una Barac, Executive Director of Atellior, told Hotel Designs. “We are also blessed with one of the most stunning locations in Europe, overlooking the breath-taking Bay of Kotor as well as Porto Montenegro, and with the Montenegrin mountains rising behind.”

SIRO Boka Place Gym cropped

Image caption: Render of the gym and fitness centre that will be sheltered inside SIRO Boka Place, designed by Atellior. | Image credit: SIRO

SIRO Boka Place will provide thoughtful environments for both guests and local residents. The public areas, we are being told, will emphasise the social aspect of wellbeing, providing a fully immersive experience and encouraging social interaction, with an overriding theme of ‘exploration’ and ‘play’ dictating the tempo. Sculptural bleacher seating in the lobby’s Amphitheatre zone will offer an informal and open place for people to relax and work, where leather cushions add comfort to the typical stadium experience and power points are hidden within integrated tables to provide numerous work hubs. The lobby is designed to come to life through sight, touch and sound, encouraging guests to linger.

Since nutrition is central to wellbeing and integral to connecting with the culture of the locality, the restaurant will provide a ‘mindful menu’ – balanced and nourishing cuisine crafted by SIRO dieticians and chefs using ingredients that are sourced locally and harvested seasonally. The restaurant’s design will have an urban vibe, with a grey conglomerate stone-effect floor and exposed service black-painted ceilings with a striking black mesh; a back-lit feature wall will create a dramatic focal point. In the centre of the space, comfortable lounge furniture in hues of grey, black and deep green surrounding low tables will lend themselves to a casual dining experience, whilst other dining tables will flank the perimeter and spill out onto the meticulously landscaped terrace.

> Designer Una Barac has joined several Hotel Designs roundtables. Since you’re here, why not check out the latest one she was involved in, on the ‘art of lighting’?

Adjacent to the restaurant will be another another pivotal feature of the ground floor lobby; the Juice Lab and After Work-Out Bar, where bar tenders will mix healthy and nutritious cocktails, juices and smoothies.

For those seeking a party vibe, a rooftop bar with live DJs will be a glorious rendezvous spot from day into the night. Contemporary furniture in cognac leather hues will occupy the space, offering a  variety of seating arrangements, from bar stools set around tall, communal tables through to comfortable lounge chairs. Striking, bespoke light features, inspired by sports’ physical movements will decorate the walls and hang as pendants. Contemporary outdoor furniture will grace the terrace together with lanterns and ample planting, creating a perfect al fresco experience and offering views across Boka Bay.

By contrast, the guestrooms are being designed as poised sanctuaries where guests can continue their fitness regime, recharge and sleep very well thanks to blackout and soundproof technology. Importantly, the rooms can transform quickly and easily between active and passive mode, pulse and restorative spaces. Each room comes with a range of fitness equipment, including punch bags, yoga balls and dumbbells, and there is plenty of space to work out or meditate. Another unique feature within the guestrooms will be the stretching bars, which form an integral part of the built-in joinery, enabling guests to exercise whilst also achieving a striking design feature. In-room mist showers, innovative furniture design and sustainable materials will work together to create a private retreat for rest, rejuvenation and recovery.

A high-performance fitness club will sit at the heart of the hotel. Featuring signature equipment and studios for workouts, yoga and dance, it will offer ample natural light thanks to the carefully designed see-saw roof, reminiscent of the industrial buildings that previously occupied the site. In addition, there will be the ‘Experience Box’ – an immersive studio with club-style lighting, sound and a large XL screen, and a smart climate-controlled 20-metre pool with a retractable roof which will allow guests to train freely regardless of weather, pausing only to take in the stunning views from the pool’s rooftop location.

Since rehabilitation is an important part of the SIRO experience, a ‘Recovery Lab’ will offer sports rehabilitation, innovative procedures, meditation classes and relaxing treatments. The Lab’s state-of-the-art equipment and procedures will explore new avenues to renewed, improved and harmonious health. Recovery facilities will include a selection of health spa services, ranging from cryo chambers, specialised massage therapies to meditation classes for mindful regeneration.

Igniting guests’ passions for exhilarating pursuits in the great outdoors, SIRO Boka Place will come complete with access to a number of demanding sailing circuits, plus cycling routes of varying intensity. Other outdoor activities will include hiking, boxing, climbing, kite surfing, parkour and, during the winter months, skiing, to name but a few.

SIRO will also be building TEAM SIRO, a team of key athletes from around the world who’ll each play an advisory role as SIRO develops the fitness and wellness elements at the heart of its immersive lifestyle experience. The first ambassador is GB Olympic gold medallist swimmer Adam Peaty – an Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion, and a favourite to win gold again at the next Olympics.

“SIRO is a gamechanger.” – Una Barac, Executive Director of Atellior.

Atellior’s aesthetic for the hotel has taken its cue from SIRO’s brand values, reflected in finishes that combine both traditional and contemporary materials such as oak, plaster, stone and aniline leather together with concrete, metal and glass. In this way, the contrast between the active and passive faces of SIRO, the physical as well as the mindful benefits that the experience provides, are expressed. The dramatic landscape background has inspired and defined the colour palette – tan leather and dark green upholstery combined with the softer tones of the warm ivory plaster, pale fabrics and light textured wood. Materials are being specified with great care to ensure they are ISO certified, regionally sourced and, where possible, incorporate elements of recycling within their manufacturing process.

The managed residences will range from studio apartments to three-bedroom duplexes and penthouses designed with a pared-back aesthetic. Clean lines and neutral tones will create an optimal environment for holistic wellbeing. Similar in aesthetic to the hotel guestrooms, they are designed with a calming and neutral palette inspired by the local limestone, with pops of colour in aniline cognac leather and striking artwork. Varying in size from 45 metre-squared to 170 metre-squared, the managed residences will all qualify for Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBIP).

“SIRO is a gamechanger,” says Barac. “Developing a unique concept with health, well-being and mindfulness at its core has never been more relevant and together we have the opportunity to achieve a benchmark of excellence that will be the bedrock of future SIRO hotels. It is also special to us, as a firm with studios in London and Zagreb, to work in Montenegro with such a forward-looking international team.”

> Since you’re here, why not read about One&Only’s first property in Europe (it’s a stunner)?

Main image credit: Kerzner International

A hotel in the middle of the desert - with a pool and unmatched accomodation

Weekly digest: Hotel openings, a review from Paris & trends galore

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly digest: Hotel openings, a review from Paris & trends galore

Peek-a-boo! Editor Hamish Kilburn here, emerging from the Holidays slumber, with your first weekly digest of 2022 – and it’s a big one! Our list of must-read stories this week features an extensive look at significant hotels openings expected between now and June, a hotel design trends special as well as a hotel review, sent with love, from Paris…

A hotel in the middle of the desert - with a pool and unmatched accomodation

And just like that, it was January: a month that crawls by under the shadow of the Holidays. It’s not all dark mornings and freezing evenings, though, as January is a time at Hotel Designs when we put our fortune-telling hats on to explore some of the most significant hotel openings expected over the next 12 months.

Okay, we may not quite qualify as fortune tellers, but we do our best to keep our readers in the loop on all the latest hotel developments, emerging trends and new products – all while providing an entertaining read (and sometimes listen with our podcast) to keep things aptly light.

As important as it is for designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers to keep their fingers of the pulse, it’s not always the easiest of tasks to do when on-the-go and on site (somewhat of a novelty these days). Therefore, the weekly digest, published (you got it, every week) will include all the most-read and must-read stories. Shall we get started?

Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q1 & Q2)

A render of a modern, contemporary guestroom bedroom with wooden headboard and a colour scheme of blue, brown and cream

Image credit: xenodocheio Milos

Each year, adhering to tradition, we started January on a unique mission: to pinpoint the hottest hotel openings; the game-altering properties that will flex their muscles, challenge conventional approaches to hotel design and effortlessly take hospitality, on an international scale, forward.

If last year was about recovery, then 2022 will be defined by the designers, architects and hoteliers who are willing to put it all on the line for the sake of innovation and creativity – it’s time to show-off as we gather around the crystal ball once more to see which hotel openings of 2022 will make the biggest impact. And we start the two-part series by taking a glance at the hotels that are expected to arrive in Q1 and Q2.

Read more.

Hotel review: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, where rock & roll meets luxury hospitality

Hotel suite bedroom with pink accents on bed and mosaic floor, in Fauchon L'Hotel Paris

Image credit: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris

Briefed to expect the unexpected, Gareth Thomas sets off on a Parisian adventure – far removed from chichés but still in the beating heart of the action – and checks in and checks out Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, where a bold interior design scheme juxtaposes heritage architecture in the heart of the city.

Read more.

Hilton reveals its list of new hotels for 2022

Cream, blue and gold decor in guestroom at Waldorf Astoria Kuwait

Image credit: Hilton Collection

With more than 75 new hotels planned across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the coming year, Hilton is sharing its optimism and enticing us with their choices. It is starting to feel like it is time to start planning the next year’s jet-setting adventures. From Morocco to Mallorca, here is a taste of what is to come on the Hilton International agenda.

Read more.

Architecture structure ‘Phase Dance’ wrapped into the natural world

Exterior of PHASE DANCE, an architectural structure in forest in Japan

Image credit:Phase Dance/Koichi Torimura

Nestled in a hilly forested area in Shizuoka, Japan, Phase Dance is an impressive architectural structure, designed by Takeshi Hirobe Architects. But the journey to create this masterpiece was not as effortless as the result itself.

Read more.

7 hotel trends shaping hospitality in 2022

Render of lady in nest-like space in front of an outdoor pool and modern villa

Image credit: SB Architects

As we start look past the crisis period of Covid-19, and start to settle into a ‘new normal’, the definition of hospitality has a new meaning – one of comfort, security and escape. International architecture firm SB Architects has identified which key hotel trends are shaping hospitality design in 2022 and beyond.

Read more.

Dream Hotel Group unveils plans for Miami flagship in 2025

view of Dream Miami Hotel from across the river

Image credit: Dream Hotel Group

A new 165-key Dream Hotel has been planned as a centrepiece to the world-class Riverside Wharf hospitality and entertainment development in the heart of Downtown Miami. Here’s what we know.

Read more.

Product watch: The modern Statement shower collection from Kohler

Matt Black shower in contemporary bathroom. Products supplied by Kohler

Image credit: Kohler

The modern Statement shower collection from global brand Kohler brings a range of unique shapes and various sizes to the shower, breathing new, contemporary life into well-loved standards and marrying the latest in technology with enduring craftsmanship. Innovative sprays elevate the showering experience, and universal compatibility means the system works wherever in the world it is installed. Inspired by iconic furniture and home goods, and defined by soft, approachable designs, the collection carries an underlying familiarity while creating striking aesthetics within the space.

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Main image caption: A render of a resort in the Middle East. | Image credit: SB Architects

Atlantis, The Royal in Dubai on The Palm

Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q1 & Q2)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q1 & Q2)

Back with a bang, Hotel Designs starts 2022 with optimism and curiosity; shining the spotlight on the hotel openings and re-openings that will once again shift hospitality and hotel design into a new era. Editor Hamish Kilburn kicks things off with his edit of the hottest hotel openings to bookmark for Q1 and Q2…

Atlantis, The Royal in Dubai on The Palm

Each year, adhering to tradition, Hotel Designs starts January on a unique mission: to pinpoint the hottest hotel openings; the game-altering properties that will flex their muscles, challenge conventional approaches to hotel design and effortlessly take hospitality, on an international scale, forward.

If last year was about recovery, then 2022 will be defined by the designers, architects and hoteliers who are willing to put it all on the line for the sake of innovation and creativity – it’s time to show-off as we gather around the crystal ball once more to see which hotel openings of 2022 will make the biggest impact. And we start the two-part series by taking a glance at the hotels that are expected to arrive in Q1 and Q2.

xenodocheio Milos in Athens – opening in January, 2022

Within the thriving boutique hotel scene in Athens, xenodocheio Milos will be a place where ‘philoxenia’, the sacred art of making a stranger feel like home, derives from unparalleled taste and world class hospitality. The hotel is located in downtown Athens opposite Old Parliament, an area bursting with history and celebrates the best of Greek heritage, art and cuisine. Elegant and refined, this authentic culinary hotel experience is the very first luxury boutique hotel of the world-renowned Greek restaurant estiatorio Milos, carrying the inspiring story of Milos to its next chapter.

Inhabit Queen’s Gardens, London – opening in February 2022 

Lounge area at Inhabit queens park london with natural light filled interior and wooden crafted furniture

Image credit: Inhabit Hotel / Tim Evan Cook

Set across a crescent of mid-19th Century townhouses on a tree-lined square near Lancaster Gate (in London), Inhabit Queen’s Gardens, which we teased late last year, will be an intimate boutique hotel comprised of 159 uplifting guestrooms, along with carefully considered social spaces. Just like its sister hotel, which shares the same city as its home, Inhabit Queen’s Gardens has been created with a passion for wellbeing and living in a way that supports a healthy mind and body, as well as modelling responsible hospitality practices.

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo – opening in Spring, 2022

Render of the exterior of Four Seasons Tamarindo, nestled within greenery

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Located on a private peninsula along the Pacific Ocean in the state of Jalisco, between the towns of La Manzanilla and Barra de Navidad, Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo has been designed by visionaries and experts, who envisioned a resort that blends seamlessly into the peninsula’s unique topography, supports ‘rewilding’ practices, and creates a perfect balance between the comforts of the indoors with the exceptional outdoor opportunities offered on the 3,000+ acres of private natural reserve.

The resort will offer four dining and beverage venues, including an ocean view bar and restaurant, beach bar and grill and golf club restaurant. The grounds will also feature three pools, a full-service spa set amidst a tropical forest and a fitness centre, young adults centre and lounge, water sports centre, tennis courts and more than 370 square-metres of meeting space.

The LaSalle Chicago – opening in March, 2022

Presidential Suite Bedroom inside The LaSalle in Chicago, which includes a modern design scheme with colours of rish blue and brushed gold.

Image credit: The LaSalle Chicago

Expect 1920s glamour, and dramatic interiors, from inside Chicago’s hotly anticipated The LaSalle Hotel, which opens this spring. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago’s Financial District, the hotel is a modern club-like escape that sits on the top five floors of a historically iconic landmark from architect Daniel Burnham. Rich in symbolism encapsulating the essence of time, the hotel pays tribute to The Hour Glass Lounge from the old LaSalle Hotel. The hotel will sensitively honour the building’s history by incorporating the hourglass icon brought to life through guest’s experiences delivering the hotel’s service culture and promise that ‘time at The LaSalle Chicago is time well spent.’

ROOST Apartment Hotel, at Asher, Florida – opening in March, 2022

A rendering of apartment-style hotel with urban, laid-back interior design scheme

Image credit: CG Rendering

Tampa-based real estate development firm Strategic Property Partners, LLC (SPP) has announced the imminent arrival of Asher, a dynamic, highly amenitised new apartment tower at 1050 Water Street in Water Street Tampa. The 56-acre neighbourhood is expected to ‘transform downtown Tampa’ into a walkable urban experience. In addition to offering a collection of rental residences, SPP has partnered with Method Co., to bring Tampa the first Florida location of its high-design extended-stay concept, ROOST Apartment Hotel, at Asher. Pre-leasing at Asher will begin in January with move-ins slated for March, and ROOST Tampa will open in the building in Spring 2022.

Designed inside and out by celebrated architecture firm Morris Adjmi Architects, the building offers a nod to Tampa’s industrial history with oversized divided-light windows that maximise natural light. Asher’s luxury rental residences will be located on the top 15 floors of the building, while ROOST Tampa will occupy the first six residential floors. Asher will offer 490 thoughtfully designed rental residences ranging from studio to two-bedroom homes.

Virgin Hotels Edinburgh and Glasgow – opening in April, 2022

Making headway this year, the Virgin Hotels brand is hopping over the pond to make its mark in the cultural hub of Edinburgh, closely followed by another hotel opening in the neighbouring city of Glasgow. Virgin Hotels Edinburgh will be located in the landmark India Buildings in Edinburgh’s Old Town near The Royal Mile. The new hotel will feature 225 Chambers and Grand Chamber Suites: multiple dining and drinking outlets, including Commons Club, Virgin hotel’s iconic cultural hub. In re-envisioning the building, the design team will work to preserve its notable elements while adding a sense of style and sophistication. The property promises a stunning mix of old and new to fully capture the uniqueness of the iconic city of Edinburgh. 

Just a few miles away, Virgin Hotels Glasgow will be the brand’s second Scottish hotel. The property will be located at 236-246 Clyde Street, a prime City Centre position. The panoramic river views will be a highlight of this location, as it overlooks the River Clyde in the heart of Glasgow’s shopping area, making it an ideal base to explore the city. The hotel will feature 242 Chambers and Grand Chamber Suites; meeting and event space; and multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the brand’s signature culinary experience Commons Club, a restaurant, bar and modern social club where guests can both work and play during their time at the hotel. The Funny Library Coffee Shop will also be a feature that guests can wind down and socialise. Here, an assortment of whimsical and funny books and games will surely keep guests entertained during their stay.

Atlantis, The Royal, Dubai – opening in April, 2022

Render of Atlantis The Royal The Palm

Image credit: Atlantis, The Royal, Dubai

It’s been a long time coming, but we are finally receiving the signal that Atlantis, The Royal, Dubai – arguably the most anticipated hotel opening in the Middle East this year – is almost ready to open its majestic doors. The hospitality and entertainment destination will span around 63 hectres, and will shelter 795 rooms and suites inside an iconic structure that rises above The Palm.

Lesante Cape – opening in May, 2022

The ebullient family behind the Lesante Collection are continuing in their mission to shine a luxurious spotlight on the isle of Zakynthos with the arrival of Lesante Cape.

Located within the historic Akrotiri village, yet uniquely with access to a private beach, the village-style resort will comprise 55 suites and 10 villas inspired by the traditional architecture of yesteryear, whilst neutral colours, natural fibres and local art will be at the heart of the soothing interiors.

Epicureans will, quite literally, get a true taste of traditional fare in one of three restaurants headed by Greek culinary marvel Aggelos Bakopoulos. For those who are seeking complete tranquillity during their holiday, Armonia wellness centre will provide a relaxing refuge for treatments and therapies harking back to ancient Mediterranean healing practices, whilst a dedicated Agora is the heart of the village with its artisanal shops, taverna and cultural museum.

WunderLocke – Sendling, Munich – opening in May, 2022

Opening with the aim to disrupt the Bavarian capital with a hospitality concept unlike any other in the city – and is the first Locke of its kind – WunderLocke will take will feature 360 spacious studio apartments, a large co-working area, meeting and event spaces, workout studio and outdoor heated swimming pool.

In addition, the hotel will shelter four food and drink destinations conceived by the founders of revered local Michelin-starred restaurant, Mural. The new concept – Mural Farmhouse – will include an urban farm that will supply fresh herbs and vegetables to a farm-to-table concept, and rooftop cocktail bar with panoramic views of the Bavarian Alps. WunderLocke is also home to several suites, which include roof terraces and large dining areas that can host dinner parties and business meetings.

WunderLocke will be a destination for locals, holidaymakers, and business travellers alike, providing a new creative hub in South-West Munich for the city’s burgeoning undercurrent of artists, creatives, and tech entrepreneurs. WunderLocke has been designed by acclaimed studio Holloway Li, which also completed Bermonds Locke in London, in September 2020. The property’s design-led apartments are peaceful, spacious and leafy, and all feature kitchens and seating areas – a hallmark of Locke design.

Hilton Bahrain – opening in June, 2022

We have been kept largely in the dark about Hilton’s development in Bahrain, but what we do know is that Hilton Bahrain is expected to open its doors this Summer. Located along Al Fateh Highway, the 348-key hotel will feature studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments with what the brand is describing as ‘all the comforts of home’ and a stunning view of the sea from each unit’s balcony. In addition, the hotel will shelter six distinct restaurants and lounges, nine meeting rooms and a luxurious spa.

Main image credit: Atlantis, The Royal, Dubai

The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021

Unveiled: The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Unveiled: The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021

Sticking to tradition, each year Hotel Designs publishes The Brit List, which, following a nationwide campaign, profiles the top 25 designers, the top 25 architects and the top 25 hoteliers. Following the unveilings of both the designers and architects earlier this month, please meet The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021…

The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021

Each year, The Brit List Awards 2021 climaxes in November with an energy-filled awards ceremony. Traditionally, though, the campaign does not end until all 75 designers, architects and hoteliers have been profiled on the Hotel Designs website. For 2021, that time is now. We have referenced the interior designers, given nod to the architects, and it is now time to conclude our annual search, with (in alphabetical order) The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021.

Charles Oak, Hotel Director, The Londoner

Following much anticipation, The Londoner, the 350-key luxury hotel that has the power to change the social status of Leicester Square, has opened. Designed in collaboration with Yabu Pushelberg (design) and Woods Bagot (architecture), the hotel is part Edwardian Hotels London – and has a particularly noteworthy eco design narrative that is being told by Charles Oak.

The 16-storey hotel, which opened in September, 2021, includes six varying F&B outlets, including a destination rooftop bar, and shelters ‘unparalleled level of genuine hospitality’.

With a career within the hospitality arena that spans three decades, prior to joining Edwardian Hotels’ new flagship property, Oak held several senior management positions in numerous hotels within the group’s portfolio, including its five-star flagship The May Fair Hotel. A highly established professional within the industry, Oak has an exemplary background in luxury hotel management and fine dining, which includes positions at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, The Savoy Hotel in London, and more recently the country haven of Heckfield Place in Hampshire.

Conor O’Leary, Managing Director, Gleneagles

Since being crowned Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2018, Conor O’Leary has continued to perfect and expand the Gleneagles spirit that is often referred to as ‘the glorious playground’. As an effortless result of this, Gleneagles remains one of Scotland’s – if not Great Britain’s – most adventurous luxury hotel.

Set beneath the Ochil Hills, in the heart of Perthshire, the hotel has been a must-go destination for travellers for nearing a century. Beginning its life in the glamorous age of travel when guests arrived in great style at Gleneagles’ very own train station, the 850-acre estate epitomises the natural beauty for which Scotland is famed.

Now under new ownership with Ennismore, Gleneagles has enlisted the skills and expertise of some of the UK’s most acclaimed designers including David Collins Studio, Timorous Beasties, Macaulay Sinclair, Goddard Littlefair and Ennismore’s own in-house design studio – with the aim to create designs and spaces that celebrate the rich, glamorous heritage and beautiful architecture for which the hotel is famed.

Its latest venture that O’Leary is leading is opening the 33-key Gleneagles Townhouse. Designed by Ennismore’s in-house team of experts, the intimate hotel will shelter timeless charm that blends with today’s modern needs, while uniting Edinburgh’s ‘social souls’ – the people who make the city tick.

David Connell, General Manager, South Lodge

David Connell’s outstanding focus during 2019 was implementing and managing a brand-new spa and wellness facility to the already established and respected South Lodge.

Managing the spa build whilst also leading his hotel team, Connell expertly fronted the project despite delays and challenges, keeping the team motivated and on course to deliver. A huge amount of time and effort went into the £14.5 million build project over the last seven years to create The Spa at South Lodge and develop a different brand under the South Lodge name.

Outside of his main role, Connell is a very active member within the wider industry. A Master Innholder, St Julian Scholar and mentor, he never loses sight that hospitality is a ‘people business’ and loves to get out into the industry, meeting future leaders as part of the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Programme selection committee and acting as a St Julian Scholar ambassador.

Edward Workman, CEO, The Newt in Somerset

With a hotelier such as Edward Workman who ‘likes to have a narrative for everything’ he does, The Newt in Somerset, is a never-ending tale of hearty hospitality and thoughtful design. With magnificent gardens, indulgent guestrooms and a spa experience to match, the hotel experience is somewhat elevated by the fact that it is sheltered within a stunning set of Georgian limestone buildings.

The hotel’s ability to collaborate has allowed it to be an ever-evolving landscape that is always exiting. The gardens at The Newt, for example, have been shaped over the last 200 years by successive enthusiasts, including Margaret Hobhouse who elevated the gardens to a Victorian ideal, introducing colour, a greenhouse and many trees of beech, oak, pine, walnut and cedar. Renowned garden designer Penelope Hobhouse gave Margaret’s vision a new lease of life in the 1970s, followed by Nori and Sandra Pope, whose experiments with colour delighted and inspired thousands of visitors in the mid-1980s. The latest incarnation has been created by Italo-French architect Patrice Taravella, who believes a garden should be both beautiful and useful.

Elli Jafari, General Manager, The Standard London

Housed in the former Camden Town Hall Annex in London’s thriving King’s Cross neighbourhood, the 1974 Brutalist building was meticulously restored and set the perfect award-winning stage for The Standard’s first hotel outside America.

The Standard London shelters 266 guestrooms in 42 unique styles ranging from Cosy Core rooms to terraced suites with outdoor bathtubs overlooking St Pancras station. The lobby lounge, with a carefully curated library pays homage to the building’s original use, with a sound studio hosting weekly live music and talks.

Setting new standards, Elli Jafari was announced as the hotel’s General Manager, months before it opened. Two years on, Jafari continues to ensure that the hotel is the epicentre of energy and just the right kind of vibes – with star-studded events – to ensure the hotel is always in the spotlight.

Federico Ciampi, General Manager, The Mayfair Townhouse

Born in Italy, Federico Ciampi is a seasoned traveller having lived in Dubai, Scotland and the British Virgin Islands. He now calls London home, with his family of colleagues inside The Mayfair Townhouse, a new luxury hotel that emerged onto the scene last year.

The 172-key hotel, which joined the Iconic Luxury Hotels portfolio last year when it opened, shelters a design narrative unlike any other. Inspired by the whimsical characters of our past and present, it is is flamboyantly dressed, yet carefully understated when it comes to service.

Curious, engaging, witty and effortlessly intuitive, the hotel is part of a new generation of lifestyle hotels that deliver the unexpected in the heart of Mayfair. A stylish, imaginative home for the modern traveller, The Mayfair Townhouse redefines what it means to be a London hotel.

 Frank Arnold, Managing Director, The Savoy

 In 2020, Frank Arnold was revealed as the new Managing Director of The Savoy, one of London’s most iconic luxury hotels.

During a career in hospitality spanning more than 30 years, Arnold has also worked with IHG, Four Seasons, Rocco Forte, Ritz-Carlton and independent hotels across Europe and North America.

Having arrived from the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto, Arnold stepped into the shoes of Philip Barnes at a time when hospitality was on its knees. Despite this, he was not afraid to bring down barriers in order to make the hotel relevant for the modern, post-pandemic traveller. For example, the hotel transformed its iconic forecourt into a trendy, seasonal F&B experience. Named Solas, the pop-up married colourful floral bursts to the Art Deco elegance of the hotel in order to create this summer’s must-visit dining destination.

Gareth Banner, Managing Director, The Ned

Gareth Banner has led a team of nearly 900 members of staff to launch and establish the most ambitious hotel opening in recent decades. By repurposing an iconic 1920s grade I listed building into a multi-faceted hospitality business, this architectural landmark in the City of London has been made relevant once again under Gareth’s leadership.

Over the past year, Gareth has used the lockdown to continue refining The Ned offering, with changes to an under-utilized members’ area on the lower ground floor into The Parlour – an intimate jazz and cabaret club boasting a weekly line up of highly regarded acts from both sides of the Atlantic.

Quickly recognising that the pandemic was set to change the way in which The Ned interacted with its members, Banner worked with parent company Soho House on a digital transformation of the business. This included the launch of an app that could be used to provide virtual experiences, digital content and contactless payments for members who showed unwavering support through the payment of their annual subscription during closure.

Working to support the charity Centrepoint, Banner was very keen for The Ned to work with Fare Share and The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club to provide meals to some of London’s most vulnerable individuals throughout the lockdown. A team of 42 members of staff from The Ned volunteered to prepare the meals in the hotel’s production kitchen. Motorcyclists from The Bike Shed’s 1,000-strong nationwide community of volunteer riders delivered over 100 meals a day to homeless young people living in Centrepoint hostels across town.

Grace Leo, Managing Director, The Relais Henley

Grace Leo is an award-winning and internationally recognised hotelier who specialises in the development of luxury hotels and resorts.

Most recently, Leo’s meticulous research over the last two years for the right opportunity led to acquiring several hotels for herself and her partners in upscale market-towns in the greater London region. She has identified the former Red Lion in Henley-on-Thames as the initial asset that has the combination of criteria and potential she has deemed essential for the redevelopment of the property into a successful business venture as well as the introduction of her ‘Relais’ branding.

The Relais Henley was launched as part of the Royal Regatta in August 2021, and has already received critical acclaim both locally and nationally. Henley was followed within months by the acquisition of The Cooden Beach Hotel near Bexhill-on- Sea, which is due to start its refurbishment towards the end of 2021.

The Relais brand underpins Leo’s key strengths, which are strong leadership skills, strategic and financial oversight, creative market positioning and branding and enabling workflows in different cultures whilst energising teams for deliverables and deadlines.

Guillaume Marly, Managing Director, Hotel Café Royal

Since 2017, Guillaume Marly has been the Managing Director of Hotel Café Royal. Constantly referred to as ‘London’s modern grand hotel’, the property straddles the elegance of Mayfair and the vibrant energy of Soho – and Marly ensures that his hospitality experience amplifies the best of both neighbourhoods.

Complete with stylish and contemporary rooms and suites, the design of the hotel answers the demands of modern travellers. Meanwhile, the grand F&B areas, with a unique Afternoon Tea experience, allows the hotel to stand out with its own personality.

The Set Collection, the parent group of the hotel, has recently celebrated a ‘soft’ re-brand as it sets its sights on growing the meaningful portfolio of properties. Despite the pressures of the pandemic, Hotel Café Royal continues to be one of London’s leading hotels.

Hector Ross, Managing Partner & COO, The Mitre Hampton Court

Despite all the turmoil since 2020, Hector Ross not only set up a brand-new hospitality business, The Signet Collection, but he then raised the funds to buy and completely revamp a historic building in need of rescuing called The Mitre Hotel in Hampton Court.

Ross based himself at the hotel alongside 30-plus builders during the first lockdown to conduct an extensive, multimillion pound refurbishment. The resulting new, although over 400-year-old, hotel is astonishing and has been phenomenally received well across both media and guests. The hotel consists of two restaurants, 36 individually designed bedrooms, two outside dining terraces, the world’s first ‘whispering angel bar’, new pamper suite spa and an events spaces, all envisioned by interior designer Nicola Harding.

Ross has preserved the authenticity of the buildings, while delivering unparalleled food, drink and service, alongside unrivalled experiences for guests such as boat trips and picnics. His home-grown and hands-on approach combines stunning designs within historically significant properties. The Mitre, the first hotel from The Signet Collection, was a bold, brave and risky move during the pandemic, but it has set the tone for additional hotels yet to come.

James Clarke, General Manager, Hilton Bankside London

James Clarke’s aims, as a leading General Manager, to challenge conventional hospitality led him and his team on many routes that include sustainable approaches to hospitality while sheltering a sensory design experience unlike any other.

The hotel is, with Clarke in the driving seat, anything but a conventional hospitality experience. In 2018, the hotel partnered with Bombas & Parr to create a unique multi-sensory meeting room inside its hotel, under the name The Agora.

From flooding the room with scented air at the push of a button to specially curated objects designed to increase productivity, mood-improving lighting installations and refreshments designed to recharge physiologically, every detail is based on the science and psychology of fruitful human interactions and innovation. The room takes inspiration from its location on Bankside, with a central table featuring inlaid ley lines pointing to important sites of creativity nearby, such as The Globe, The Tate and Royal Festival Hall.

John Scanlon, General Manager, 45 Park Lane

Since his arrival at 45 Park Lane as General Manager in 2015, John Scanlon has been committed to ensuring that guests have the best possible experience, and has a proven track record of maintaining an enjoyable environment for employees also.

Following a year of uncertainty – during which time Dorchester Collection donated £25,000 to Hosptiality Action – the hotel recently opened a new luxury wellness space, The Spa at 45 Park Lane, which takes it firmly out of the shadow of its sister hotel, and neighbour, The Dorchester. The spa has been designed by world-leading design agency Jouin Manku. The wellness space has been specifically created to bring a sense of the outside in, referencing artistic flora using traditional Roman style mosaics from Venetian artisans. Natural timbers and light coloured stone bring a sense of calm and tranquillity; while timber slatted ceilings have been integrated to create better acoustics within the pool, gym and relaxation lounge. The entire space has been generously arranged to maximise the sense of spaciousness – not an easy in a neighbourhood where space comes at a premium, but one that has been executed with style.

Julian Hudson, General Manager, Fellows House Cambridge –  Curio by Hilton Collection

 Julian Hudson is a devoted and experienced hotelier with almost 25 years’ hospitality management experience in the UK. As a personable manager, his passion comes from building and developing a passionate, well-trained, and close-knit team.

Most recently, he was appointed the General Manager of Fellows House Cambridge –  Curio by Hilton Collection, a new hotel that has opened with a deep design narrative and an unavoidable connection with creative art, which meaningfully hangs in celebration of its local history.

The 131-key hotel features unique pieces of artwork and sculptures, inspired by the fellows and historic city. The room types are all named after people associated with the city and notable Cambridge fellows such as Kipling, Newton, Gormley and Attenborough.

Marie-Paule Nowlis, General Manager, Sofitel London St James

 Marie-Paule Nowlis, who brings with her 30 years’ experience with the Sofitel brand, and a career shaped by international roles, joined Sofitel London St James as General Manager in April 2019. Nowlis led an extensive multi-million-pound transformation in 2019, which extended throughout the hotel’s 183 rooms and suites, restaurant and bar. The property is a flagship hotel for the Sofitel brand and a cornerstone of London’s luxury hotel scene, with the transformation and refurbishment overseen by Pierre-Yves Rochon ensuring it remains one of the most sought-after destinations in the city.

This year, Nowlis introduced a host of new partnerships in order to propel the hotel forward and make sure that it provides the very best for all guests. One partnership was with cycling brand Pinarello, allowing guests to book a tailored two-hour bike ride, enjoy a Tour de France inspired menu at Wild Honey St James and view the Pinarello bike and jerseys displayed in the hotel lobby.

In addition, Nowlis also aimed to promote ‘Culture in the City’, which lead to a partnership between Sofitel London St James and the Design Museum. The collaboration celebrated the launch of the acclaimed exhibition, Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life and included a suite takeover allowing guests to truly immerse themselves in the Perriand culture.

Michael Bonsor, Managing Director, Rosewood London

Michael Bonsor has more than 18 years’ experience in luxury hotel management, working for brands such as Four Seasons and Claridge’s.

Throughout the pandemic, Bonsor worked tirelessly alongside his team to successfully re-open the doors of the award-winning luxury hotel, while also spearheading a number of key initiatives and campaigns.

Once restrictions lifted, alongside his team, Bonsor transformed the iconic courtyard into an outdoor oasis bringing the Scarfes Bar terrace for Summer 2021 on one side and a partnership with Macallan to create the Macallan Manor House on the other side where guests can enjoy an immersive alfresco dining experience inspired by the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

Additionally, to show Rosewood London’s appreciation for the NHS and all their hard work during the pandemic, Bonsor led the hotel to launch a competition, giving one NHS working couple the chance to win their dream wedding held at the hotel in 2021. He also included the hotel in the Hospitalitry4Heroes Social Challenge helping to raise more than £10,000 to support the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal and organised Holborn Dining Room pies and meals for the NHS staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital who the hotel has supported for many years.

Murray Ward, General Manager, Soho Farmhouse

Set against untouched English countryside – after becoming the postcard for hospitality in the Cotswolds – Soho Farmhouse is where members go to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, to instead check in to enjoy a slower pace. Combining authentic British design with warm, non-fussy hospitality, the 40-key hotel on the farm is able to provide the perfect rural scene, complete with luxurious cabins, restored houses and shack-like ‘piglet’ rooms.

Murray Ward and his exceptional team work tirelessly in order to maintain every corner guests’ turn within the 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside, lives up to the property’s esteemed reputation. Even the ‘check-in’ experience is a personable moment that has been carefully considered. After driving through the main gates, members leave their car with the staff to check in at the ‘Gate House’ before boarding a milk float, which takes them into the village-like setting.

The heart of the ‘house’ is in the Farm Yard – the ‘public areas’, if we were being conventional. Around this space, the hotel features an expansive spa, complete with an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, a lake, a plethora of dining outlets and even a state-of-the-art cinema – all of which makes the modern, British hospitality experience totally unmatched.

Olivia Richli, General Manager, Heckfield Place

Following a loyal career with Aman Hotels, in 2017, Olivia Richli was plucked from semi-retirement at her beachfront home in Sri Lanka by Boston’s Gerald Chan, who had bought Heckfield Place almost twenty years before. Richli’s youth spent amongst the farms and gardens of the British countryside, combined with her unique career in developing and operating eclectic luxury hotels within historic precincts, stood her in perfect stead to guide Heckfield Place into a grand new era.

The Georgian family home was lovingly restored from its classic origins and rewoven into a luxury hotel, which now stands in 400 acres of secluded Hampshire landscape.

The hotel’s sense of responsibility has inspired Richli onto the next level of stewardship, one that quietly leads by example and endeavors to establish an estate that will thrive and guide all those who visit. And thrive it did, with the hotel winning The Eco Award at The Brit List Awards 2019.

Paul Bayliss, General Manager, Hotel Brooklyn, Manachester

Awarded an MBE for services to hospitality in 2006 as well as being named Independent Hotelier of the Year in 2017/18, General Manager Paul Bayliss’ wealth of experience allowed him to navigate the Hotel Brooklyn’s opening successfully during the challenges of a global pandemic to critical acclaim, reflected through the host of national awards the hotel has received so far.

The hotel stands out as a beacon of excellence worldwide, as the only UK luxury property that is truly accessible for all and has been named the most accessible hotel in Europe. The hotel’s unique design is leading the Gold Standard in accessible design, with 18 of the 189 rooms fully accessible offering both wheelchair access and ambulant accessibility and the first hotel in Manchester to offer ceiling track hoists for guests. The hotel is an industry game-changer as the first to make a step change in whole society inclusivity within luxury hospitality. Notwithstanding its remarkable recruitment process and CSR credentials.

The inspiration behind accessibility for all came from the hotel’s President Robin Sheppard, whose own disabilities helped him identify a need for positive change in the hospitality industry. Bayliss has carried out Sheppard’s wishes tremendously, leading the hotel to win three Blue Badge Style Ticks for accessibility, as well as winning the BeFactor Awards 2020 Accessibility Award.

With many more Hotel Brooklyn properties in the pipeline, Bayliss continued work with the brand will ensure ‘accessibility for all’ to luxury full scale hotels finally becomes the norm.

Paul Skinner, General Manager, DUKES LONDON

Tucked away in a private courtyard in the heart of London’s West End, the 87-key DUKES LONDON has become a British hospitality landmark, celebrated for its famous martinis and exceptional service as well as its prime location overlooking Green Park and St James’s Park.

Following Covid-19 and the various lockdowns implemented in the UK over the past year, the tourism and hospitality industry has taken a huge hit. DUKES LONDON’s management team, led by General Manager Paul Skinner, had to manage expectations of owners and investors, whilst leading and supporting its team through disruption and uncertainty.

While keeping a close eye on his staff’s mental and physical wellbeing, Skinner also ensured that DUKES remained rooted in its community during this difficult time – offering beds to key workers via the Small Luxury Hotel initiative to reach out to those in need and to help ease the strain on the NHS during the crisis. The team also participated in the “Golden Friend Scheme” designed by Hospitality Action which was created to support elderly people in the community with hourly phone calls each week to keep them entertained during the stricter parts of lockdown. Additionally, the team took part in the 5km for £5 social media campaign, where all proceeds went to the NHS.

Robin Hutson, Founder, THE PIG Hotels

There is arguably no one who has done as much as Robin Hutson in highlighting the plight of the hospitality industry in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic, through his ‘Seat at the Table’ campaign.

With 45 years’ experience, Hutson has led some of the world’s most famous hotels, including, but not limited to, Claridge’s, The Berkeley, Hotel de Crillon and Hotel de Vin, and between 1995 and 2008, he was Chairman of Soho House Group, assisting Nick Jones shape the ambitious expansion of the game-changing brand into Europe and the US.

Hutson is now Chairman and CEO of the much-applauded Lime Wood Group and Founder of another ground-breaking and some would say, ‘Britain’s best loved collection of country hotels, THE PIG.

The much-loved leader has tirelessly championed for more help for hoteliers, railed against government ineptitude, and brought together those in the hospitality industry to try and create a voice for a formally unrepresented industry – which delivers so much to the coffers of the Treasury, and so many jobs to the people of the UK. While doing that, he kept on all of his 1,000 or so staff – without making anyone redundant – and then opened a new PIG in Cornwall (in the summer of 2020), and another one year later in the West Sussex countryside.

Sérgio Leandro, Regional General Manager, Lore Group

 A passionate and experienced hotelier, Sérgio Leandro currently manages the London Region of the Lore Group portfolio. In his role, Leandro is responsible for overseeing Sea Containers London and the soon-to-launch One Hundred Shoreditch (the former Ace Hotel London).

Leandro has extensive experience within the hotel industry, having worked with the likes of Marriott (Starwood) and sbe and holding the role of General Manager of Sea Containers London since its launch as Mondrian London (the first Mondrian in Europe) in 2014. Leandro was instrumental in ensuring a successful transition, not only for the brand, but also for his team – all of whom remained in place as the hotel entered a new era and the next step in its story.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Leandro was determined to show support towards the NHS, so he spearheaded the Sea Containers London ‘NHS Nominate Your Hero’ campaign and gave away 545 overnight stays to NHS staff from around the country, as well as lighting up the building in a rainbow to show support and appreciation. This is an ongoing initiative and as the hotel has re-opened its doors, Leandro and his team continue to invite NHS staff into the hotel for their stays and other activities such as NHS movie nights.

Stuart Geddes, Managing Director, The Lanesborough

In 2019, Stuart Geddes left his position as General Manager of The Goring Hotel to join The Lanesborough as Hotel Manager, with the aim to help the Oetker Collection property ‘reinforce its position as a market leader’ on the luxury hospitality scene in London.

Two years later, Geddes has recently been promoted to Managing Director of the quintessentially British hotel (some might even say landmark). Following the most challenging 18 months the industry has perhaps ever experienced, the promotion came a time when the industry as a whole was recovering in the wake of the pandemic. The hotelier’s ‘respect for heritage’, while ‘constantly pushing for creativity and innovation’, puts him in good stead to navigate the unavoidable challenges that lie ahead.

Geddes responded the promotion by calling it ‘both a pleasure and an honour’ and is full committed as well as passionate to lead the 93-key hotel into a new chapter of hospitality.

Thomas Agius Ferrante, Hotel Director, The Grove of Narberth

Following his appointment as General Manager in early 2019, Thomas Agius Ferrante was promoted in August 2020 to become Hotel Director of The Grove of Narberth, the five-star hotel nestled in the Pembrokeshire countryside in South West Wales.

The hotel forms part of the Seren Collection which includes the one Michelin starred Beach House Restaurant on the Gower Peninsular, and the highly regarded Coast Restaurant in Saundersfoot.

Ferrante started his career as a kitchen chef before moving into senior management roles first at One Aldwych and then at The Berkeley where he spent seven years latterly as the Food & Beverage Operations Manager. Prior to joining The Grove of Narberth, the hotelier was the Hotel Manager of The Phoenicia in Malta, an iconic five-star, historic hotel that flanks the main gates of the capital Valletta and is a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ consortium.

Will Ashworth, CEO, Watergate Bay Hotel

Will Ashworth, who is no stranger to The Brit List first came onto Hotel Designs’ radar in 2004 when he became the CEO of Watergate Bay Hotel, which he took over from his parents.

Since then, the young yet established hotelier has been able to flex his design muscles to ensure that the hotel stands out as an exceptional luxury experience.

The latest design narrative at Watergate Bay Hotel is told when checking in to one of the seven new beach-front suites, designed to take the accommodation at the hotel to a ‘new level’ with a quirky interior scheme that oozes sense of place and personality, while framing some of the most spectacular coastal views. Ashworth worked with Cornish design studio Dynargh Design to create the rooms that shelter barefoot luxury with a distinct local charm.

Despite creating a new room category that will ‘pave the way’ for future projects within the Watergate Bay Hotel portfolio, Ashworth’s pioneering stance in the hospitality arena is unequivocally highlighting how independent hotels can indeed shelter innovative, eco-friendly design that doesn’t intrude on the guest experience. For example, all electricity that the now 69-key boutique hotel uses comes from 100 per cent renewable suppliers.

The application process (free of charge) for The Brit List Awards 2022 will open in Q2 of 2022. 

Main image credit: The Brit List Awards 2021

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

Making the best out of a disruptive situation – day eight of 10 into quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 – Editor Hamish Kilburn finds the time (and the words) to explore in his final editor’s letter of 2021 how sensory design and togetherness could help fuel hotel design and hospitality into a new yet-to-be-written chapter…

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Can you feel, smell, hear, touch or taste it? Don’t worry, this isn’t a new variant symptoms check. There’s a transformation happening. It’s affecting the way we work. The way we communicate. Even my tone seems dissimilar (perhaps more honest) as I write this, uncomfortably pessimistic, in day eight of a 10-day quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 the day I landed back from reviewing a recent cluster of hotel design projects in Spain.

Whether we like it or not, we have no choice but to embrace new ways of living and working. As frustrating as this ‘new world’ may feel at times, we cannot always alter our surroundings. What we can adjust, however, is how we react. In great depression comes new prospects. When we accept a remodelled status quo, we can move past the practical hurdles and start to see how a change in landscape creates a transformation in behaviour, which in turn can lead to new breakthroughs in design, architecture and hospitality.

If you are struggling to see it, look no further than The Brit List 2021, which was unveiled in November at a spectacular, glitter-filled awards ceremony. The publication includes 75 individual examples of people at the forefront of our industry who are utilising this situation, which is becoming to feel more long-term as the months draw on. Take Robin Hutson, the Founder of The PIG Hotels, for instance, who won Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2021. During a time when hospitality was forced to be on hold, Hutson started A Seat At The Table campaign in order to give the industry – formally under-represented – an unapologetic voice.

Another example is Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners, who recently completed projects include the new five-star Park Hyatt hotel in Auckland; FEAST within Hong Kong’s iconic EAST hotel and the Peninsula Boutique and Café in Hong Kong. Norden was crowned Interior Designer of Year because of these projects as well as her selfless efforts to support the industry through lockdown, saying ‘yes’ to any opportunity to help raise the profile of British and global hospitality and design at its best. And instead of wallowing in self-isolation despair, I’ve just realised that I am interviewing both leaders in just a few days (note to self: use this time locked away from the world wisely in order to work on thought-provoking questions).

Logically, design and creativity during this period should have suffered, when human interaction and supplies chains have been damaged. Okay, it’s taken longer, and designers have been forced to, at times, sacrifice global FF&E, but it has allowed our community to do what it does best; find solutions to problems. Interior designer Álvaro Sans was tasked to steer one of Seville’s most iconic hotels, Meliá Gran Hotel Colón, into a modern era at a time when it was illegal for citizens to leave their houses. The delivery times of materials was a great task to manage,” he told me. “We had to change some furniture items because they did not arrive after five months of delay.” Sans recently unveiled this project, and it is, in my opinion, genuinely one of the most impressive public area renovations in recent history.

So, you see, change on this kind of scale can be a pivotal part of the overall narrative – we are turning the page of a gripping novel. Well, I have a confession to make. I read ahead and skipped a few chapter, and – spoiler alert – I have to tell you what I found before I read backwards. Waiting for us on the other side is an industry, scarred and not broken, which sets a holistic and more meaningful setting. The textured scene is layered with colour for personality, sound to create atmosphere, touch to make it personal and the smell of fresh bread from the bakery. It’s a sensory fusion of all the things we lost during dark times – a coming together of new skillsets we learned when restrained to the parameters of our homes. I’m not the only one who is reading ahead. At a recent panel discussion I moderated at Independent Hotel Show, Mark Bruce, Main Board Director at EPR Architects; Sound Designer Tom Middleton and Marie Soliman, Co-Founder of Bergman Design House discussed all the possible senses that will take hospitality forward – and no area, even the often forgotten hotel corridors, were off limit. “The gaps between the experiences are just as important as the experiences themselves,” said Bruce. “Those few metres can be thoughtful in themselves.”

The answer to many (if not all) of our problems comes in the form of collaboration, which has long been a fuel for the sector. I’m not talking about interior designers working with lighting designers or architects forming partnerships with sound architects. Instead, I’m suggesting two (or more) interior designers – AKA competitors – actually working together on a brief.

We saw this recently at HIX, in a wonderful display by the three design studios worked together to create Hotel Tomorrow. In this space, Conran and Partners injected the energy of community. Meanwhlile, Areen Design created an art installation-style safe cocoon nest that brought down the heart rate. stroop design, very much inspired by its own situation of launching recently with no physical base, was inspired by nature – and unveiled its co-working pod as a walk-in-the-park experience. Outside these three pods, the studios worked together, using visuals and sounds as tools for transformation from one area of the show to another – and as a result, intentional or not, they helped redefine the traditional trade show into an insightful experience.

Elsewhere in the show, a new revolution came to the surface in the wellness ‘living moodboards’ that were created by Sieger Design, Studio Carter, and Studio Corkinho – think hemp walls, spa-like suites and silent architecture. These concepts that were inspired with the 12 principles of design by Nestwell proved that the world is truthfully our oyster, and there is little we cannot achieve through constructive research and development (R&D).

“Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have created in a difficult year.” – Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs.

Render of organic guestroom designed by Studio Carter

Image credit: Studio Carter’s concept explored organic materials as well as soft architecture to create an authentic sense of wellbeing. | Image credit: Studio Carter

I would like to evolve R&D to add a new ‘R’: ‘rest’, which is unreservedly an integral element with innovation in design and hospitality. It’s the same with writing. Leaving an idea or an article to mature is all part of the process, which cannot sometimes be rushed, nor forced. Resetting the scales allows you time to exhale. When the writer returns, the space they’ve created allows the opportunity to add value to whatever was created previously.

And with that, several drafts later of attempting this column, it’s time to ‘switch off’ and turn on our Out of Office automatic replies. Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have achieved in a difficult year. I hope that when we return in 2022, we will find it in our hearts to embrace togetherness; to take on, in harmony, new opportunities and challenges.

To spur on this sense of change, I pledge to amplify on these pages bold, genius and non-conforming concepts next year and beyond. Revise the recipe – we’re craving spice and flavour here on the editorial desk – and please help us take hotel design and hospitality forward in beautiful, authentic, and disruptive ways. So, who will feature in the next chapter, I wonder?

Stay tuned…

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

Newmor wallcoverings in lounge

Year in Review: It’s in with the new for Newmor Wallcoverings

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Year in Review: It’s in with the new for Newmor Wallcoverings

2021 has been quite a year for Newmor Wallcoverings, not only has the company rebranded, but it has also launched a host of innovative wallcovering designs  – here are just a few of them. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

Earlier this year, Hotel Designs exclusively revealed the rebrand of Newmor Wallcoverings after I met with David Johnston, the brand’s Managing Director.

Newmor wallcoverings in lounge

Since then, Newmor Wallcoverings, which is is the largest independent commercial wallcovering manufacturer in the UK, operating in more than 70 countries, has launched some eye-catching new product collections. And here are our top picks:

Spring 2021 was all about celebrating traditional style, with a twist

  • Metropolis  – stacked blocks are reminiscent of city skylines which catch the light from every angle.
  • Kensington –  a traditional botanical damask with a woven emboss to add a tactile textile surface.
  • Tweel –  a classic weave print with a tactile surface in a palette inspired by natural dyeing processes.

Newmor Wallcoverings also launched a brand new Newmor Custom collection – Trompe-L’oeil. Each design can be recoloured, rescaled and printed on an array of wall covering textures and window films.

Autumn 2021 new designs focussed on craftsmanship, organic surfaces, and surface texture

  • Peloso – an intricate emboss that replicates cowhide as the plush texture shifts and shimmers as the mica pigments catch the light.
  • Batik – tapping into the trend of resistance dying techniques, this design was inspired by a piece hand-dyed fabric, the super matte emboss adds to the tactile feel of creased fabric.
  • Marquetry – this geometric design celebrates artisanal craftsmanship and the technique of marquetry, which uses wood veneer to create decorative patterns.

Each year Newmor Wallcoverings launches a new designer collaboration to bring the work of artists and designers to the commercial interiors market. This autumn the brand launched a collaboration with Lois O’Hara, a Brighton-based artist and designer who creates joyful hand-painted murals and illustrations. O’hara’s brand ethos, which we looked at earlier this year, explores how colour can have a positive effect on how people feel when they use spaces. Her unique colour combinations and use of shape and movement form her signature style. The designer has transformed many public spaces and has partnered with exciting brands including Habitat, Pantone, Westfield, Brighton City Council, London Design Festival, and Urban Outfitters, to name a few.

The Brit List Awards 2021 – a worthy shortlisted finalist 

In September, Newmor Wallcoverings was shortlisted in the Best In British Product Design category for their innovative Healthcare Wallcoverings. Newmor is the largest independent commercial wallcovering manufacturer in the UK and are specialists in design and manufacturing vinyl wallcoverings. The ideal choice for high traffic areas as they are washable and scrubbable, Newmor’s healthcare wallcoverings provide added assurance as they contain an antimicrobial additive that is highly effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungi and algae.

Case studies 

In a year where many of us enjoyed staycations the newly-refurbished ibis Styles Bournemouth was the perfect destination for families. The ibis Styles Bournemouth takes inspiration from the local beach environment, so guests can enjoy the sunny Great British Seaside vibes.

You really wouldn’t want to work from home if you could work in a place like the new RB Pharma office in Lisbon. Newmor completed this project with Yaroslav Galant for the company headquarters. It is bright and colourful with an organic colour palette inspired by a nearby park, and features designs from their Leigh Bagley Designer collection.

What to expect next

At the beginning of each year Newmor launches its trends predications and 2021 was no exception. Stay tuned, as the brand is putting the finishing touches on the 2022 trends predictions.

Newmor Wallcoverings is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Newmor

In Conversation With: Kalia Konstantinidou on hotel development in Greece

730 565 Pauline Brettell
In Conversation With: Kalia Konstantinidou on hotel development in Greece

After creating three unique properties in Santorini, each reflecting the spirit of its location, it was only a matter of time before KANAVA Hotels & Resorts explored wider hotel development in Greece. Pauline Brettell speaks to co-owner Kalia Konstantinidou about the group’s island-hopping development plans…

KAVANA Hotels & Resorts is meaningfully making a dent in hotel development pipeline in Greece with its collection of unique hotels, resorts and villas that are all designed and curated by owners Kalia Konstantinidou and her husband, and business partner, Antonis Eliopoulos. For the pair, it is all about creating beautiful spaces as well as memorable experiences, while introducing guests to their beloved Cycladic way of life.

The brand’s hospitality vision first emerged on the whitewashed island of Santorini, where Eliopoulos turned a rustic vineyard on his family estate into the first five-star hotel of the island in 1993, which is now the renowned Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort.

Since then, the couple’s combined passion for hospitality motivated them to expand in 2007 towards the north of the island, with the opening of Mystique, a boutique jewel carved into the rugged Caldera cliffs. Taking a different approach in 2018, the decision was made to transform an abandoned mansion of a legendary socialite on the famous black-sand beach of Perivolos into the peaceful Istoria, a Member of Design Hotels that offers a unique residential accommodation experience.

white interior and blue sea at Kanava hotels greek island resort

Image caption: Mystique was the second hotel to open in KAVANA Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio. Image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

After making its mark on Santorini, KANAVA Hotels & Resorts stylishly island hopped to Paros, where it opened the brand’s fourth hotel, Parīlio, a Member of Design Hotels, which is a statement hotel, envisioned as a gateway to the real Cyclades. The following year, the group introduced Acron Villas, a unique collection of 24 villas, all with a minimal Cycladic aesthetic.

The visionary brand is fast establishing its position on the island, and is launching its third property on Paros in 2022, Cosme Hotel, a project that is conceived to be a celebration of the authentic Mediterranean village. The hotel aims to “carry its guests away in time”, and filling them with a sense of serenity.

Before then – and with the aim to establish where the next hotel development hotspot is in Greece – I caught up with Konstantinidou for a coffee in London’s west end. I wanted to get an idea of both the brand in general, as well as the more specific plans for the new project on Paros – and I was told that no question was off limit!

A rock on the edge of a luxury swimming pool in Paros

Image caption: Parīlio was KAVANA Hotels & Resorts’ debut hotel in Paros. | Image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

Pauline Brettell: You first opened in Santorini in 1993 with Vedema, which was the first Five Star hotel on the island. Has the vision changed over the years – is luxury in 1993 the same as luxury in 2023?

Kalia Konstantinidou: Luxury has completely changed in the last three decades, in the sense that back in the 1990’s it was solely based on material goods and offerings, while in 2020’s, especially in the post-Covid era, the meaning of ‘high-end’ or ‘jet set’ travel is not defined by the material and lifestyle, rather by the experiential and intellectual.

The world has changed enormously, and as such our vision has been blended with creating unique hotels that define a destination, with the need to connect, to engage with communities, to be mindful and to travel for a purpose. And as travel reminds us of all the things that we share, most notably our humanity and our planet, the new luxury that we embrace is also connected with sustainable travel and a more mindful approach to travel: fewer trips, longer trips, more meaningful trips. While the planet has been incredibly resilient for billions of years, it is uncanny how vulnerable we are on this earth that has a vastly growing population, and one that is so interconnected.

PB: How does KANAVA Hotels & Resorts stand out from the crowd? 

KK: The most substantial thing that makes KANAVA Hotels & Resorts unique is that we are looking into the essence of things. We strive to create a better world for tourism, one that listens to its communities better than any other industry in the world. We create projects with the essence of being sustainable, sincere, and purposeful places for us and global travellers to live in, and we insist on creating awareness for a better kind of travel!

PB: Your choice of locations seems quite personal, what made you decide to move from Santorini to Paros?

KK: Santorini is our first and eternal love. It will always have a special place in our heart as it is the island where our journey started and made our passion for hospitality evolve.

After creating three unique properties in Santorini, each with their own distinctive character, yet tied with the common elements that always inspire us, we felt that we have managed to successfully leave our footprint on the island’s hospitality scene, showcasing all angles of it, it just felt natural for us to seek a new challenge for our fourth property, and we found it almost instinctively in Paros. In 2019 we launched Parīlio, while in 2020 we introduced Acron Villas, a unique collection of twenty-four villas.

Wishing to establish our position on the island, we will be launching in May 2022, Cosme, a project that we hope will further enhance the island’s luxury hospitality scene, located right on the waterfront of Naoussa.

Secrecy Villa Interior: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

Image caption: A paired back, whitewashed interior design scheme inside Mystique. | Image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

PB: Of all the islands in all of Greece, why were you drawn to Paros?

KK: Paros is the island where we used to spend our holidays as teenagers, but also later as a couple, and in the course of time, as a family. It is a relatively unexplored island with compelling potential, exquisite natural beauty, rich culture, and gastronomy. The younger crowds come looking for a laidback holiday among its pristine sandy beaches and lively nightlife. Surfers come for its inviting waves, while families enjoy its many sheltered bays. Visitors love the picturesque villages and bougainvillea-lined alleyways. And nature lovers come to explore the island’s wildlife and stunning geological formations.

PB: And having decided on Paros, what specifically do you look for in a new hotel location?

KK: Having decided on Paros, we were initially looking into a location that would feel welcoming and have a positive energy for us, so that we can multiply this energy through the filter of locale and make it into a magnet that would attract travellers from all around the world, into a mainly unknown location, making them want to explore it, and immerse in it.

PB: Acron villas in particular seems to be embedded in the landscape – is there a theme emerging? 

KK: For Acron Villas, we were looking into absorbing the wild landscape that embraces the project and that is strongly dominated by the Mycenean Acropolis which lies just next to it. We used a lot of local stone that comes from the cliff and followed a typical Parian architecture that is characterised by the traditional classic elements of the Cycladic architecture, like the austere landscape, the weather conditions (mainly the winds) and the need for protection from the invaders-conquerors in the old times.

All of the projects in Paros showcase some aspect of local design, from the sunlight, to traditional village dwellings, simpler monastic spaces, or the rough-hewn rocks of the surrounding cliffs.

 PB: How is this new project, Cosme Hotel, going to differ from the other properties in Paros?

KK: The new project, coming also in the post pandemic era, is a ‘celebration of life’, a unique hotel design that is a mix of experiences and rituals from all around the Mediterranean, anchoring in Paros and inviting travellers to appreciate the gifts of life, in a Greek summer setup that makes you feel carefree, happy, and full of positive energy.

Located on a sublime seafront stretch, the hotel’s private beach club overlooks the translucent Aegean Sea and in line with KAVANA Hotels & Resorts’ engagement to offer our guests holistic wellness and mindful experiences, it will have a unique outdoor wellness and fitness centre, including a stargazing area. It is a project that is predominantly anthropocentric and that aims for a sense of holistic wellbeing originating from happiness and a conscious connection with both people and also place.

Mystery Villa Bedroom: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

Image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

PB: Sustainability is mentioned as part of your vision. How do you translate that into KAVANA Hotels  & Resorts across the board – and has working in Paros thrown up any particular issues when it comes to questions of sustainability in the local environment and community?

KK: Sustainability has always been embedded as a core value of our company’s growth and development. We consider that the sole way for our company to grow is through sustainable practices, to ensure not only that the environmental impact of our hotels is minimised, but also that we contribute to the community by supporting organisations and charities with a sustainability focus. As a result, we have planned and implemented a dedicated environmental management plan (EMP) that prioritises green self-efficacy across our operations. We deem that this plan, along with our company’s commitment to protect the environment and contribute to the societal well-being, are our fundamental duties when striving to success. We were thrilled to discover that in Paros, sustainability has been in a more mature stage than in Santorini and have already started working with local and international organisations that support the local environment and community, and we are partnering in several initiatives including water and energy usage.

PB: And finally, for visitors to Paros, what is the one ‘must-do’ thing you would recommend to see/experience?

KK: A difficult question, as Paros is a conclave of unique experiences all of them seeking to elevate the local experience, but if I need to streamline to one, then this would be strolling in the streets of Naoussa right after sunset and heading towards one of the romantic restaurants in the little port, tasting some authentic Greek food that celebrates the Greek summer. This is an experience that certainly makes you feel in place!

> Since you’re here, why not read our latest hotel review from Greece?

Main image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

Collage from AHC in Manchester 2021

Show review: What you missed at The AHC in Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Show review: What you missed at The AHC in Manchester

Out with the old (venue) and in the with the new. On November 22 – 24, The Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) took shelter under a new roof, Manchester Central Convention Complex, where it welcomed more than 800 senior delegates to learn, network and party. Editor Hamish Kilburn was there to soak it all in…

Collage from AHC in Manchester 2021

For years, The Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) has been a major calendar event that has attracted leading investors, developers and operators from across the UK hospitality sector. In fact, the event has become so popular now, with more than 800 delegates to shelter safely that it required a venue change, from the familiar territory of Hilton Manchester Deansgate to where it is now held in the Manchester Central Convention Complex.

At the epicentre of the new venue was the auditorium, where more than 100 industry-expert speakers took to the stage over the two-day event, including senior leaders from global hotel brands. These included: Adela Cristea, Vice President, Head of Business Development UK & Ireland, Radisson Hotel Group; Satya Anand, President, EMEA, Marriott International; Stephen Cassidy, Senior Vice President & Managing Director UK, Ireland & Israel, Hilton; Philip Lassman, Vice President Development Northern Europe (UK&I, Benelux & Nordics), Accor; Dimitris Manikis, President & MD EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; Karin Sheppard, Senior Vice President & Managing Director Europe, IHG and Camil Yazbeck, Senior Vice President, Head of Development Northern Europe, Accor.

Speakers took turns to deliver their views, strategies and visions for the future across four stages: vision, collaboration, innovation and transformation that represented the four pillars that underpinned this year’s theme ‘Change for Good.’ Amnd it was clear that there was a real sense of collective excitement and energy, and a renewed optimism for not only the recovery but also the opportunity to reset and reconsider the hospitality industry as a whole. People’s passions have seemingly been reignited. The conversation around ‘responsible recovery’ was discussed throughout the event, and seemed to spill into the discussions at the number of after parties around the city.

The hospitality industry is emerging from the pandemic with a long list of changed priorities. Values – in contrast to value for money – are creating new challenges for the hospitality industry. Sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social Governance) are becoming ever-more important priorities for customers, operators, employees and owners.

Three inspiring leaders, Satya Anand, President EMEA, Marriott International; Dimitris Manikis, President & MD EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Karin Sheppard, SVP and MD Europe, IHG, discussed the characteristics of a ‘good brand,’ how people are increasingly conscious of ESG and that travel has become more purposeful. “ESG brings a unique opportunity to bring back young people into this sector,” said Manikis. “The future leaders of our industry — doing the right thing for humanity will bring the right people back.”

Karin Sheppard followed this up with the strong statement: “The best we can do today, is not the best we can do tomorrow. Be humble that we are all here to learn and we don’t have all the answers but without steep ambitions nothing will ever change.”

ESG came into sharp focus during the ‘Serviced Living — Capturing the New Demand’ session when Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Lamington Group made clear his strong feelings “with passion and intent there are ways to deliver truly sustainable buildings” and shared his company’s mission to deliver fully net zero carbon hotels in its portfolio.

Image caption: Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Lamington Group speaking passionately about truly sustainable buildings. | Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Image caption: Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Lamington Group speaking passionately about truly sustainable buildings. | Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Lamington Group recently launched Room2 Chiswick, it’s first net zero carbon offering which is 89 per cent more energy efficient than other hotels in the UK. It’s 100 per cent electric, has a blue roof that can hold 50,000 litres of rainwater that filters down for use in the hotel and is covered with 200 tonnes of soil to grow a green roof to encourage biodiversity and insulate the building. Occupancy sensors inside the building manage heating lighting and cooling to provide energy efficiency savings.

Labour shortages are affecting the industry in a huge way and fixing the reputation of the hospitality industry is vital if staffing shortages are to be alleviated. The industry has an unfortunate association with long hours and low pay, something which was highlighted by keynote speaker Gary Neville, who owns GG Hospitality and runs the Stock Exchange Hotel and Hotel Football: “Hospitality staff have been treated poorly for far too long and the pandemic has highlighted that for me. People come first and they need trust and flexibility, empathy and compassion.”

Image caption: Gary Neville, owner of GG Hospitality, said that 'hospitality staff ghave been treated poorly for far too long.' Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Image caption: Gary Neville, owner of GG Hospitality, said that ‘hospitality staff ghave been treated poorly for far too long.’ Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

In the ‘Power to the People’ session, Chris Mumford, Founder, Cervus Leadership Consulting, David Orr, CEO, Resident Hotels, Thomas Greenall, CEO, Bespoke Hotels and Harry Cragoe, Owner of The Galivant / Costel Hotels joined forces to address the supply of labour that has resulted in an awareness amongst hotel managers of the wellbeing of their staff.

Harry Cragoe said his business “is all about creating happiness” and he wants happy employees because it means guests are likely to be happy. “At The Gallivant, mini-bonuses of £10 are handed out each time a staff member is name checked by guests giving end-of-stay feedback. Monthly totals can be as much as £300-£400,” he added.

Nicholas Northam, who leads Interstate’s white-label operations at more than 120 hotels in the UK, Ireland, Continental Europe, Russia and CIS, said the labour shortage was less about the number of people available for work and more about the skills of potential employees. “We are looking at many different ways to find the talent we need,” Northam said. Among the programmes that may have previously fallen foul of a company’s behavioural sensibilities, Interstate has set up what he called “academies” in some UK prisons. Thanks to Interstate, Northam said, inmates were receiving instruction on kitchen and housekeeping roles.

Chris Dexter, CEO of Kew Green, in a directly political appeal to the UK Government about relieving pressure in the labour market said: “Open up the visa channels.” Pay rates were rising, he said, but jobs remained unfilled because there were insufficient numbers of people available for work.

Whilst the audience enjoyed hearing the anecdotal insights from the industry’s leading minds and the opportunity to learn from how they re-strategised following such a difficult period, cold hard numbers always win the day.

Thomas Emanuel, Director of STR hosted ‘Decoding the Revenue Data’ in which he gave comprehensive industry analysis — including how the UK has consistently outperformed Europe as a whole, and that Q3 UK occupancy had returned to pre-Covid levels: however, London and other large cities lag behind due to decreased international travel.

Meanwhile, in ‘Profits & Pricing’ Michel Grove, Chief Operating Officer at HotStats and Joe Stather Director, OPRE, Hotels, CBRE Hotels, asked do hotels still appeal to the investor community? Their discussion drew the conclusion that investor demands actually outstrip supply, which is supporting relatively buoyant pricing and in turn an increased number of deals is expected in 2022. They identified that profitability is weakest in London and the gateway cities, however these markets are seeing the strongest investor demand. The growing interest in alternative real estate is also being fuelled by increased investor demand.

Looking ahead, The AHC 2022 will take place on October 3 – 4 at The Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Main image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Beach and pool at koh samui resort SAii Koh Samui Bophut

S Hotels & Resorts opens new resort on Koh Samui

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
S Hotels & Resorts opens new resort on Koh Samui

Just opened: SAii Koh Samui Bophut is an elegant low-rise, upscale resort planning to cater for those travellers wanting to stay in style, while soaking up the authentic essence of island of Koh Samui…

Beach and pool at koh samui resort SAii Koh Samui Bophut

S Hotels & Resorts is embarking on a new era of free-spirited hospitality on Thailand’s ‘Coconut Island’ of Koh Samui with the opening of SAii Koh Samui Bophut. The stylish low-rise sanctuary is nestled on Hanuman Bay, a secluded 300-metre long stretch of sand on Samui’s pristine northeast shore. Surrounded by lush foliage and coconut palms, with spectacular granite headlands that jut out into the sparkling sea, the elegant, eco-sensitive resort allows guests to unwind and escape the outside world.

SAii, from the Thai word for ‘sand’ or ‘pathway’, is an upscale lifestyle concept that plans to attract a new generation of experience-seeking guests. With private pools in every suite or villa and an array of engaging guest experiences, the resort was designed with couples and families in mind.

“SAii has captured our customers’ imaginations since it was first unveiled,” said Dirk De Cuyper, CEO, S Hotels & Resorts. “This fun and free-spirited lifestyle brand intuitively caters to a new generation of travellers who are curious and want to explore their destination, but on their own terms. With its spectacular seafront setting, stunning pool suites and villas, fantastic facilities, exceptional activities and deep environmental ethos, SAii Koh Samui Bophut will be an outstanding addition to our lifestyle collection.”

Hotel suite on koh samui featuring natural materials all with sea view

Image credit: S Hotels and Resorts

The resort is made up of a collection of spacious, standalone Plunge Pool Suites, One Bedroom Pool Villas and Beachfront Plunge Pool Suites. All showcase garden or sea views and come fully equipped with plenty of indoor and outdoor space, separate living areas and bedrooms, spa-inspired bathrooms, premium amenities and fast connectivity and Wi-Fi. Exclusive to the SAii brand are ‘creature comfort’ pillows, as well as personalised organic bathroom amenities from the unique M.I.Y Aroma Lab. The SAii App allows visitors to personalise every aspect of their vacation, with the ability to make requests, chat with resort’s team, book excursions, order room service and more, straight from their smartphone.

SAii Koh Samui Bophut is the fourth member of the SAii portfolio worldwide, joining SAii Lagoon Maldives, SAii Laguna Phuket and SAii Phi Phi Island Village. SAii Resorts will be the driving forces behind S Hotels & Resorts’ future expansion, as a forward-thinking Thai company strives to create a collection of hotels and resorts that reflect the vibrant spirit of their destination.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the eco gem, The Tongsai, on Soh Samui?

Main image credit: S Hotels & Resorts

rounded couch in contemporary london apartment for living rooms collection

Living Rooms adds Marylebone Lane to its collection

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Living Rooms adds Marylebone Lane to its collection

The latest addition to Living Rooms is situated in the chic neighbourhood of Marylebone. The seven new design-led apartments have been created with urban travellers in mind, as Pauline Brettell discovers when taking a closer look inside…

rounded couch in contemporary london apartment for living rooms collection

Living Rooms has become a leader in creative alternatives to the traditional hotel with its unique collection of design led residences. Since our last comfortable visit to one of the brand’s apartments, things have changed. And by ‘things’ we mean design schemes.

The latest addition to the family is a collection of seven contemporary apartments, located at 74-78 Marylebone Lane, all offering a charming haven just moments from the boutiques of Marylebone High Street, and minutes from the hustle and bustle of London’s West End.

curved couch in contemporary london marylebone apartment

Image credit: Living Rooms

Its seven apartments are all boutique in feeling with a contemporary aesthetic, and have been designed in collaboration with Tom Bartlett of Waldo Works. The apartments consist of three one-bedroom apartments, three two-bedroom apartments, and one three-bedroom apartment with an outdoor terrace. All have the additional Living Rooms features, which include a dedicated concierge service, high-speed broadband to ensure a seamless working from home option, and of course, pets are welcome.

“I think the future of travel is people will travel less – taking our time and staying in one place longer,” said Tracy Lowy, Founder of Living Rooms. “Throughout the pandemic our apartment business remained strong and we noticed more and more guests wanting privacy and space. Now that we have emerged from lockdown and international travel has become easier, we are noticing many business travel enquiries filter through from the Americas and Europe. Many British families are also choosing to stay with us because our apartments are spacious and offer concierge facilities that make planning each stay comfortable and easy for our guests.”

In terms of design, Bartlett developed an interior scheme in a warm palette of cashmere, wine, raspberry and teal. Furniture shapes across the bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms are soft and curved, leaving the interiors feeling modern, but characterful and residential – and most furnishings are British made, having been manufactured in the UK. Laura Bartlett Studio have also curated a collection of artworks for Marylebone Lane with an emphasis on mid-century work on paper; drawings, dry point, lithographs and etchings with feature pieces from contemporary Danish artist, Rune Elmegaard.

For city hoppers keen to explore the local culture, Living Rooms redefines the traditional boutique experience, offering the unique and authentic, no matter the length of the stay. Each property is as much about the local community, as it is about feeling at home. It is all about enabling guests to live like a Londoner in fashionable surroundings, combining the whatever-you-need spoiling of a hotel, with everything needed to make a home-away-from-home. Over the years, Living Rooms’ core business has stemmed from the worlds of fashion, film, art and design, and the brand also hosts regular fashion trunk shows and pop-ups across all properties; recent collaborators have included Catheryn Collins with I Pezzi Dipinti and Jane Pickering Sweethearts of the Rodeo.

white interior with colourful cushions and wooden dining table in london marylebone

Image credit: Living Rooms

Aparthotels, residences and extended stay hotels, by virtue of offering self-contained accommodation, are all in line to take a greater share of leisure travel. According to Expedia Group, recent reports state that travellers are opting for non-hotel accommodation and rentals, and are staying longer. The Living Rooms growing portfolio is testimony to this trend. The spacious apartments, ideal for families, business travellers, Londoners as well as international leisure travellers, are meant for living in – a place where guests can relax, entertain, cocoon, play and make themselves completely at home in the luxury of their own space and privacy.

Main image credit: Living Rooms

Rooftop render of hotel in Covent Garden

Berlin comes to London: AMANO to open new hotel in 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Berlin comes to London: AMANO to open new hotel in 2022

The German boutique lifestyle hotel brand, The AMANO Group, announced it will open its debut hotel in London in 2022. Hotel AMANO Covent Garden promises to bring the cool and vibrant energy of Berlin to the heart of London. Here’s what else we know…

Rooftop render of hotel in Covent Garden

Located on Covent Garden’s Drury Lane, a luxury hotel will emerge next year marking the first international destination from Berlin-based hotel brand, The AMANO Group, which currently has eight hotels in Berlin, one in Munich, and one in Düsseldorf.

Render of exterior of AMANO Covent GardenAMANO hotels offer sophisticated urban living in a central location at a fair price, and are carefully integrated into the cultural life of a city. Extrovert by nature and unafraid to be different, the hotels are renowned for their distinctive design and immersive drinks and dining experiences.

Formerly a 1980s office building known as Drury House, this 141-room property is the first of multiple AMANO hotels set to open in London. Hotel AMANO Covent Garden will offer a new destination for Londoners to socialise in, as well as visitors coming to the city. Here you’ll find a basement bar, restaurant, sky bar and rooftop terrace with impressive city views and DJs spinning music on weekends.

Throughout the property, we are being told to expect dark moody tones and unique design features, which have been imagined by London-based design studio, Woods Bagot, the lead architect and interior designer behind the new opening.

Render of luxury lobby in AMANO's first hotel in the UK

Image credit: The AMANO Group

“As a Berlin-based company, opening our first international property in London was always a natural step for us,” said Ariel Schiff, Co-founder of The AMANO Group. “Like Berlin, London is a dynamic city known for its thriving nightlife and multicultural community. We felt the spirit of the AMANO brand would blend in well here. We’re excited to offer guests a unique hotel and leisure experience, bringing a taste of Berlin to London.”

With a wealth of tourist hotspots on its doorstep, like the recently renovated Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Hotel AMANO Covent Garden will make a great base for solo and business travellers, couples, and families wanting to explore the capital. Guests can choose from three room categories (cosy, comfy and roomy) to suit a range of budgets.

Watch this space.

Main image credit: The AMANO Group

Orange couch and indoor plants at Beckett Locke hotel

Lifestyle brand Locke opens second hotel in Dublin

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Lifestyle brand Locke opens second hotel in Dublin

Set to become a new hub for culture and entertainment in the city Beckett Locke brings its home-meets-hotel concept to the centre of Dublin’s thriving docklands area…

Orange couch and indoor plants at Beckett Locke hotel

As a brand that isn’t prepared to waste time procrastinating, Locke is seriously catching up to – dare we say ‘taking over from’ – the conventional lifestyle brands that have for decades dominated the international hotel design scene. Following the launch of Zanzibar Locke, which was hotel brand’s first property to emerge outside of the UK, the stylish brand has now opened its second hotel in Dublin.

Tucked behind the 3Arena, Beckett Locke is a 241-studio aparthotel, which aims to inspire and connect travellers through mindful design, activated social spaces, a locally led cultural programme and disruptive food and drink concepts that celebrate the character and social fabric of its locality.

Set around a naturally lit atrium, Beckett Locke features a neighbourhood co-working space, artisan coffee shop, restaurant and intimate cocktail bar in addition to meeting and event space for up to 100 people. Beckett Locke’s beautifully designed apartments (which range from 23sqm to 53sqm) each feature fully-fitted kitchens, as well as living and dining space, making them suitable for short, medium, and long stays.

“We are thrilled to open Beckett Locke, our second home in Dublin, and the third international property in the Locke family,” said Stephen Mccall, CEO of Locke’s parent company edyn. “Dublin has always been an important city for us, and we’re excited to bring Locke’s distinctive and vibrant personality to the rapidly expanding Docklands area. The Locke experience ranges from cultural programming to creative partnerships and our ambition is to establish Beckett Locke as a creative hub for guests and locals alike.”

Designed by the London studio of globally renowned design firm AvroKO in collaboration with local firm C+W O’Brien Architects, the interiors of Beckett Locke take their cue from Dublin’s maritime history and the Docklands’ deep industrial heritage. The layout of the social spaces are inspired by a traditional Docklands market hall, and include a co-working area, meeting rooms, cocktail bar, coffee shop and restaurant, all set around a central glass atrium. The assimilation of local narratives flows into the apartments, which feature black steel, exposed concrete and rust-coloured soft furnishings, which evoke the intrepid colourways and history of the Docklands. Unique to Beckett Locke, each studio apartment has been designed in-house by edyn Development Studio.

glass walls and wooden table provide contrasting surfaces at Beckette locke hotel

Image credit: Beckett Locke

The hotel also houses three new food and drink concepts by Alan Clancy’s native restaurant group, NolaClan. North 7th Coffee will fuel the co-working space from the early morning and throughout the day, serving artisan coffee, delicate pastries, and hearty sandwiches. Meanwhile, The Belis restaurant will offer a contemporary Irish take on classic dishes using freshly sourced ingredients. Nestled in a decadent theatre-like setting, complete with rich red velvets and draped chain canopy, Sam’s Corner will shake up handcrafted cocktails inspired by Beckett Locke’s namesake, playwright Samuel Beckett.

Beckett Locke will also host an evolving cultural activation programme where locals and guests can participate in talks, events and workshops hosted by local businesses and creatives. This will be complemented by an evolving cultural activation series, which will invite local creatives, brands, and businesses to host talks, workshops and events.

Locke’s hybrid ‘home-meets-hotel’ concept has proven popular among guests seeking flexible accommodation for a night, to a month or longer. Each apartment provides the space and comfort of home, which includes fully fitted kitchens, adaptable living areas where guests can dine or work, and ample storage, all with industry-leading design and guest experience at its core. This is combined with the social attributes of a lifestyle hotel, including buzzy co-working spaces, original food and drink concepts and a team of local house hosts.

Main image credit: Beckett Locke

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

On November 3, The Brit List Awards 2021 welcomed more than 500 interior designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers when it took over London’s famous cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment, for an awards ceremony unlike any other, which crowned nine individual winners and celebrated the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub…

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain came to a dramatic climax on November 3, when more than 500 of the industry’s top names came together at PROUD Embankment for a night of celebration, timeless glamour and frivolous fun: The Brit List Awards 2021 – the awards ceremony had arrived.

“Welcome to PROUD,” roared editor Hamish Kilburn who hosted the awards ceremony, “a relevant emotion that I sincerely hope you are all feeling right now as we gather, scarred and not broken, to celebrate the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub.”

The shortlist, which was unveiled in September, included the names of 130 individuals and projects – the most finalists in the campaign’s history – across nine categories. From here, the judges whittled down the not-so-short shortlist in order to confidently decide this year’s winners.

Following Publisher Katy Phillips and Kilburn’s opening addresses, the evening was divided into two sections. Following tradition, first came the formal unveiling of The Brit List 2021the official publication, produced by Hotel Designs, which includes the profiles of the top 25 interior designers, architects and hoteliers who are a operating in Britain.

In addition the individual awards, The Brit List 2021 can be read here.

The event then continued, with the event’s partners and sponsored invited on stage to announce each winner.

And the winners are… 

INTERIOR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

The Brit List Awards winner Tina Norden and Maximilian Hotel in Prague

Highly Commended: Geraldine Dohogne, Founder, Beyond Design
Winner: Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners

ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR 

Mark Bruce, Architect of the Year 2021 and a render of NoMad London

Highly Commended: Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture
Winner: Mark Bruce, Director, EPR Architects

HOTELIER OF THE YEAR 

THE PIG guestroom and Robin Hutson, Hotelier of the Year 2021

Highly Commended: Olivia Richli, General Manager, Heckfield Place 
Winner: Robin Hutson, Founder, THE PIG Hotels

BEST IN TECH

L11 Tuneable white light engine by Franklite

Highly Commended: Sonance audio systems
Winner: L11 Tuneable white light engine, Franklite

THE ECO AWARD

Two seperate images of beds from Silentnight Group

Highly Commended: The Global Collection, manfucatured by Mosa Tiles (supplied by CTD Architectural Tiles)
Winner: Silentnight Group Hospitality

BEST IN BRITISH PRODUCT DESIGN

Close up and lifestyle shot of the Metamorphis collection by The Monkey Puzzle Tree

Highly Commended: Hypnos Contract Beds
Winner: The Metamorphosis collection, The Monkey Puzzle Tree

THE RISING STAR AWARD

A design moodboard and image of Sophie Sheppard, The Rising Star Award winner of 2021

Highly Commended: Matthew Maganga, University of Kent
Winner: Sophie Sheppard, Junior Designer, Concorde BGW Group

THE INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY, winner of International Awards, The Brit List Awards 2021

Highly Commended: noa* network of architecture 
Winner: Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Design-led kitchen and Ariane Steinbeck, winner at The Brit List Awards 2021

Winner: Ariane Steinbeck

> Since you’re here, why not also view the ‘in pictures’ story from The Brit List Awards 2021?

Thank you to our Partners!

Headline Partner: Crosswater


hotel suite at Pan Pacific London with bespoke bed overlooking london cityscape

Case Study: Designing bespoke beds inside Pan Pacific London

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Case Study: Designing bespoke beds inside Pan Pacific London

With its proactive approach to environmental sustainability and wellness, Pan Pacific London gives centre stage to a bespoke bed in every guestroom and suite…

hotel suite at Pan Pacific London with bespoke bed overlooking london cityscape

Located in Liverpool Street, Pan Pacific London is the first European property from the Singaporean hotel group, and takes understated luxury to new heights – the 43-storey haven even incorporates a dedicated floor to wellbeing. The interiors are designed by world-renowned design duo George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, who honour Pan Pacific’s Singapore heritage for hospitality and connection with nature, by beautifully blending the refined charm of British design with a South-Eastern Asian artistic flair.

Pan Pacific London bedroom design

Image credit: Jack Hardy

In developing this sanctuary, the team at the hotel were committed to working responsibly and ethically to improve their sustainability credits, and to reduce the impact on the environment. This proactive approach to environmental sustainability and wellness can be seen in each of the 237 guestrooms and 43 suites. Each guestroom and suite has been designed as a haven from the bustling city. Curved walls and the neutral colour palette add to the peace and tranquillity of these private spaces. The art pieces add a further layer of calm, through the depiction of oak, elder, elm and maple trees. Centre stage is a bespoke Hypnos bed which provides the foundation for a perfect night’s sleep.

“We wanted to deliver an oasis of tranquillity in this wonderful bustling city of London,” said designer Glenn Pushelberg. “Pan Pacific London is intended to feel tailored, calm, and serene without falling flat on metaphors or symbolism. We wanted our guests to be immersed in a worldly outlook that is rooted in the warmth and comfort of the brands heritage.”

George Yabu adds: “Our design team conceived the hotel as a home, delivering a relaxed-yet-elevated residential feel. Qualities of an English manor house were reinterpreted with tailored modernity to serve as the bones of the project, while a twist of personality has been introduced through art and accessories, which layer in Eastern flair.”

Pan Pacific London luxury bedroom design

Image credit: Jack Hardy

“There is no doubt that Pan Pacific London was one of the most hotly anticipated hotel openings in London in 2021,” said Carolyn Mitchell, Sales and Marketing Director, Hypnos Contract Beds. We were delighted to work with the team to develop a bespoke mattress during a period when the hospitality industry was in lock down. It is so refreshing  and rewarding to finally see our hard work unveiled. We are a family business, dedicated to delivering sustainable sleep solutions and have been carbon neutral for over a decade. So, we are particularly proud to have worked with Pan Pacific London in delivering their vision of taking wellness and luxury into a new era. Our mantra at Hypnos is to deliver comfort with integrity – Pan Pacific London epitomises this perfectly.”

Pan Pacific London main plaza in central london

Image credit: Jack Hardy

Pan Pacific London is truly a serene haven away from the hustle and bustle, with every element carefully crafted and tailored to offer one of London’s most complete contemporary and luxury hotel experiences.

Hypnos is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Jack Hardy

Moodboard, including tap from Gessi

Product watch: Venti20 collection by bathroom brand Gessi

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Product watch: Venti20 collection by bathroom brand Gessi

“Great design has emotional power and an innate ability to instil beauty into everyday objects,” states bathroom brand Gessi when discussing the new Venti20 range, which captures the essence of the era and allows us to rediscover the spirit of the ‘Roaring 20s…

Moodboard, including tap from Gessi

Bathroom brand Gessi has collaborated with Spanish designer Lazaro Rosa-Violin to create the Venti20 collection, breathing new life into signature elements with its carefully edited retro notes, while at the same time, doing away with any nostalgic replicas.

Gessi believes that now, perhaps more than ever before, we need to draw upon our ability to imagine extraordinary things, to dream fantastical dreams, and to renew our pursuit of beauty. That we long for those things that bring meaning to life, and for the spaces around us to be filled with elements that bring happiness not only to our eyes, but also to our heart and spirit. The idea of an exciting present and prosperous future, here in the ‘20s of the 2000s, just like those of the 1900s, creates an emotional impulse full of energy, and a confident immersion into the spirit of an age devoted to enthusiasm, vitality, and a true celebration of life.

In the Venti20 Collection, elegantly detailed profiles pair with simple, pure lines to work together as a functional, contemporary work of art. The meticulous workmanship of the handles and the details at the base of the items, together with striking fluted bodies, recall a classic style that has been reimagined for a new era. This collection characteristically combines the Gessi hallmarks of  craftsmanship, art and technology, in a single object.

art deco inspired bathroom fittings designed by gessi

Image credit: Gessi

Designer Rosa-Violan worked with Gessi to ensure that the detailing, the iconic style and the playful essence of the era was integral to the design. Yet importantly the collection is all about an enthusiasm for life and the future-looking optimism of that era. It is about taking that spirit, through design, into the most private spaces of contemporary living. In this visionary outlook lies the recipe for a new appreciation of style and the improvement to people’s lives today.

Gessi is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Gessi

luxury st regis hotel with sea view

St Regis to almost double portfolio of hotels by 2025

730 565 Pauline Brettell
St Regis to almost double portfolio of hotels by 2025

Solidifying St. Regis Hotels & Resorts’ position as a leader in luxury, the iconic brand is expected to expand its existing portfolio of 15 curated resorts with plans to debut 11 new enchanted escapes by 2025 in some of the world’s most coveted leisure destinations. Pauline Brettell takes a wander through the proposed portfolio…

luxury st regis hotel with sea view

Hotel brand St Regis Hotels and Resorts has laid down ambitious and forward-thinking plans to expand its portfolio of luxury resorts in desired destinations for the next generation of luxury travellers, including locations within the Caribbean, North America, North Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

St. Regis currently has 49 hotels and resorts open worldwide, with a further 29 hotels and resorts in its pipeline, representing expected growth of nearly 60 per cent over the next five years in both urban and leisure destinations.

luxury st regis resort built over the sea

Image credit: St Regis Hotels and Resorts

“This is a pivotal moment for St. Regis as we expect to nearly double our existing resort portfolio by 2025,” said George Fleck, Vice President and Global Brand Leader for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. “From Los Cabos to Sanya, and Marrakech to the Riviera Maya, we are thoughtfully expanding the brand while marking a commitment to providing extraordinary resort experiences in the places where we know global luminaries want to travel.”

These highly anticipated new resorts will introduce the brand’s visionary spirit, avant-garde style and bespoke service in some of the most dynamic and compelling markets across the globe. Expanding its footprint in Mexico, St. Regis is expected to debut The St. Regis Kanai Resort in 2022 and The St. Regis Los Cabos Resort in 2023.

Located in the captivating Mayan Riviera, The St. Regis Kanai Resort will feature a sophisticated design that boasts breath-taking ocean views from every vantage point, with plans that call for 124 guestrooms and suites, as well as 32 exclusive villas with private pools.

The striking St. Regis Los Cabos Resort, designed by SB Architects and the San Francisco branch of design firm HBA, will be located on 33 pristine acres in Quivira, and features more than 300 metres of panoramic coastal views. The resort is expected to offer 120 rooms and 60 residences, as well as a spa, golf course, beach club and three distinctive dining experiences.

In the Middle East, the brand plans to grow its presence in Qatar with the expected early 2022 opening of St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island, The Pearl, which will feature architecture influenced by the distinct Andalusian and Arabesque style and offer stunning views of the Arabian Gulf.

With a continued focus on the Caribbean in the coming years, in 2024, St. Regis is expected to debut in Aruba with St. Regis Aruba Palm Beach Resort, as well as in the Dominican Republic with the highly anticipated opening of St. Regis Cap Cana Resort.

In addition, the brand also anticipates celebrating its entry into Oman in 2024 with St. Regis Al Mouj Resort in Muscat and, in the same year, expects the debut of St. Regis Sanya Haitang Bay Resort in Sanya, Hainan’s most southern tip, which is often referred to as the ‘Hawaii of the East’. Additionally, St. Regis is expected to open a property in Africa, with the debut of St. Regis Marrakech Resort slated for 2025.

St. Regis’ existing resort portfolio touches all corners of the globe, ranging from Bal Harbour to Bora Bora and Aspen to Abu Dhabi. Most recently, in May 2021, St. Regis Bermuda Resort opened its doors in the historic town of St. George’s. Just steps from the soft white sands of St. Catherine’s Beach, the resort boasts 120 elegant guestrooms including 29 exquisite suites and an ultra-luxury residential development offering two- and three-bedroom residences. Each guestroom is designed to bring the outdoors in, with custom furnishings, marble bathrooms and a private balcony, all with breath-taking ocean views. Guests are able to enjoy unparalleled leisure and wellness facilities, including the historic Five Forts Golf Course, St. Regis Spa and state of the art cuisine.

The St. Regis Qingdao debuted in August 2021. Situated in the 2008 Olympic sailing village, the hotel features 233 guestrooms designed to pay homage to the coastal destination.

Additionally, St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico recently reopened following a $60 million renovation inclusive of the resort’s 139 guestrooms and suites, seaside pool and esplanade, and the spa.

verandah and palm trees in bahia puerto rico with a sea view

Image credit: St Regis Hotels and Resorts

Characterised by timeless glamour, along with a vanguard spirit, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, is all about delivering ‘exquisite experiences’ inside its luxury hotels and resorts in the best addresses around the world. Now set to take its uncompromising level of bespoke design and service further afield, we look forward to watching these plans progress over the next five years.

> Since you are here, why not read about more about the Los Cabos Mexico project.

Main image credit: St Regis Hotels and Resorts

Skip to main contentSkip to toolbar About WordPress Hotel Designs 341 WordPress Update, 29 Plugin Updates, 4 Theme Updates 1,7011,701 Comments in moderation New View Post Smart Slider Insights Copy to a new draft Hi, Hamish Kilburnmm Log Out Screen Options Help WordPress 5.8.1 is available! Please update now. Please activate your copy of the Ultimate Addons for WPBakery Page Builder to get update notifications, access to support features & other resources! Edit Post Add New Note: Envato official solution is recommended for theme updates using the new Envato Market API. You can now update the theme using the Envato Market plugin. For more information read the related article in our documentation. Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. This theme recommends the following plugins: Envato Market, MailChimp for WordPress, Osmosis Demo Importer and WooCommerce. 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Last edited by Hamish Kilburn on 22 October 2021 at 8:44 am Move upMove downToggle panel: Format Post Formats Standard Gallery Link Quote Video Audio Move upMove downToggle panel: Publish Preview (opens in a new tab) Status: Draft Edit Edit status Visibility: Public Edit Edit visibility Publish immediately Edit Edit date and time SEO: Unavailable Copy to a new draft Move to Bin Move upMove downToggle panel: Categories All Categories Most Used Uncategorised Editor’s Picks In Conversation With Industry News 1st mpu news 2nd mpu news 3rd mpu news 4th mpu news bottom section news Job Section Designers Featured Job Industry Latest Hotel Review 1st mpu review 2nd mpu review 3rd mpu review 4th mpu review bottom section review Main Slider Member News 1st mpu members 2nd mpu members 3rd mpu members 4th mpu members bottom section members Member News Homepage Most Read Spotlight On Supplier News + Add New Category Move upMove downToggle panel: Tags Add New Tag Separate tags with commas Remove term: 2021 2021 Choose from the most used tags Move upMove downToggle panel: Featured image Set featured image Move upMove downToggle panel: The Grid - Item Format Move upMove downToggle panel: Insert script to Move upMove downToggle panel: Custom HotSpot Hotel Development Move upMove downToggle panel: Configure Rich Snippet Move upMove downToggle panel: WPBakery Page Builder WPBakery Page Builder PreviewUpdate Custom [page_title] Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here's a sneak peek of what to expect inside... [thumbnailnew] Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season. The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco. The group's legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and aging, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community. "Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travelers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. “We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area." Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the Group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon. Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group Move upMove downToggle panel: Excerpt Excerpt Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme. Learn more about manual excerpts. 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Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico

Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here’s a sneak peek of what to expect inside…

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Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here's a sneak peek of what to expect inside... [thumbnailnew] Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season. The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco. The group's legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and aging, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community. "Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travelers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. “We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area." Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the Group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon. Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group Move upMove downToggle panel: Excerpt Excerpt Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme. Learn more about manual excerpts. 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Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season.

The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco.  

The group’s legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and ageing, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community.  

“We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico.” – Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas.

“Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. “Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travellers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area.”   

Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools.   

Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon.   

> Since you’re here, why not read about Banyan Tree Group’s first luxury resort to open in Krabi in 11 years?

Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group

COMO Le Montrachet Exterior 3 Square

Image exclusive: A look at COMO Hotels’ debut property in France

730 556 Hamish Kilburn
Image exclusive: A look at COMO Hotels’ debut property in France

The COMO Group has announced that its debut hotel in France, COMO Le Montrachet, is slated to open in 2022 – Hotel Designs has been given access to the first exterior images of the highly anticipated hotel property, taken by photographer Martin Morrell. Scroll down to have a peek… 

COMO Le Montrachet Exterior 3 Square

With 14 luxury hotels worldwide, including properties in the Maldives, Bhutan, Thailand, Australia, Turks and Caicos, Italy and the UK, it was only ever a matter of timing and , crucially, the right location for the arrival of the The COMO Group’s first hotel in France.

Well, the wait is almost over, but not without a the group creating a bit of healthy tension. COMO Le Montrachet, which will be situated in the sought-after Côte-d’Or region, will open in phases, with phase one scheduled to be completed in 2022, evolving the hotel judiciously over the years to come. With this new addition to the portfolio, COMO aims to bring its contemporary flair to Puligny-Montrachet, Burgundy, providing ‘unparalleled access’ to some of the most famous Grand Cru vineyards. Nestled around the most charming village square, guests are invited to experience the ‘COMO way of life’.

For this project, the COMO Group will again collaborate with esteemed designer Paola Navone to complement the historic 18th century property with her contemporary touches. This launch marks the brand’s second European opening after COMO Castello Del Nero in Tuscany, which was also designed by the Italian designer.

Arranged across four heritage buildings, 31 rooms and suites will be converted into chic sanctuaries starting with Villa Christine. The phased opening of the hotel will also see a COMO Shambhala Retreat, the first of its kind in France.

COMO Le Montrachet

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts/Martin Morrell

With COMO’s renowned emphasis on cuisine, guests of COMO Le Montrachet can expect exceptional dining options and exquisite wine experiences in one of the most beautiful settings.

And that’s not all. COMO is making all the right noises for us to believe that is the just the start of the group’s well-timed expansion. “With the recent sale of COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, this announcement underlines our strategy to develop pioneering properties in new destinations,” said Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group. “Besides Europe, we will also add a new luxury resort in the South Pacific to the portfolio next year.”

Watch this space.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts/Martin Morrell

Winners of TOP ID - NEWH

NEWH UK Chapter honours design excellence at TopID Awards 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NEWH UK Chapter honours design excellence at TopID Awards 2021

Starved of live events and face-to-face networking, the British design community gathered on October 20 at Roca London Gallery in Chelsea for the 2021 TopID Awards, powered by NEWH UK Chapter. “Drum roll please – and the winners are”…

Winners of TOP ID - NEWH

As the seasons change and a new year approaches, it is clear that a new design landscape has emerged, placing increased emphasis on the ‘contactless journey’ and the importance of natural materials in connecting interior spaces to the outside world in order to foster a sense of space and wellbeing.

While adapting to a myriad of challenges, the industry’s dedication to exceptional design has not wavered. In acknowledgement of this fact, each year NEWH, an international not-for-profit network for the hospitality community that provides scholarships, education, leadership development, professional recognition of excellence and business development, has the honour of recognising design excellence within the UK through its TopID Awards. The prestigious accolade is determined with consideration to both the quality of a firm’s work and the support and dedication provided to NEWH membership and events, allowing winning practices to be celebrated internationally across the vast NEWH network.

In February of this year, NEWH UK Chapter bestowed the 2021 TopID Awards to three deserving studios. Unfortunately, at the time, lockdown regulations prevented the opportunity to present these awards physically. However, on November 20, the practices were aptly celebrated (in person) in spectacular fashion at Roca London Gallery.

This year’s winners

Dennis Irvine Studio

Dennis Irvine Studio, led by Dennis Irvine who recently became Director at Richmond International, was an award-winning interior design practice that specialised in hospitality and residential projects, both in the UK and internationally. Working in collaboration with a diverse range of partners – from international private clients, to residential developers and hotel operators – the multidisciplinary team had a world-class reputation for creating spaces that acknowledge cultural context whilst appreciating the spirit of a brand or individual – a reputation that Irvine has taken with him.

Dennis Irvine

Image credit: Dennis Irvine Studio

From conception through to delivery, the studio provided a comprehensive, holistic range of services including initial feasibility and space planning, interior concept, tender documentation, bespoke FF&E design and procurement.

The Estate House is the signature restaurant and bar at Jumby Bay, the exclusive island resort located off the northeast coast of Antigua. This 1830s plantation house and centrepiece of the island was extensively refurbished by Dennis Irvine Studio to create a luxurious fine-dining experience that celebrates the island’s local spirit and rich history. In keeping with the local architecture, an airy courtyard and surrounding terrace connect the main restaurant, bar, and private dining areas.

Whilst each space has its own identity, the entire project has been carefully curated to deliver a considered and elegant design, conscious of contemporary comforts whilst also being sympathetic to local design and traditions. Originally designed as a Rosewood resort, the Estate House references the brand’s ‘Sense of Place’ philosophy, with the interiors capturing the essence of island life whilst creating a serene, sophisticated environment for discerning travellers.

A wine tasting room inside The Estate House

Image credit: The Estate House, designed by Dennis Irvine Studio

Goddard Littlefair

Established in 2012 by Martin Goddard and Jo Littlefair, Goddard Littlefair is a luxury interior design practice based in London and Porto, Portugal. The company’s talented international team delivers award-winning hospitality, residential and wellness projects across the globe, creating sophisticated, stylish interiors with the people that inhabit them at the forefront of every design decision.

Jo and Martin from Goddard Littlefair

Image credit: Mel Yates/Goddard Littlefair

The brand’s ethos seeks to combine aesthetic perfectionism and boundless curiosity with a team-playing, service-driven attitude. “The firm’s unique selling point is the ability to knit smart, sensual design with a healthy dose of pragmatism,” said The Irish Times.

Goddard Littlefair is currently working on some of London’s most high-profile residential developments including One Park Drive, Southbank Place, Ebury Square and Grosvenor Waterside, as well as luxury spa projects in London, Prague and Tripoli. Their burgeoning hospitality portfolio includes projects for Corinthia, InterContinental, Principal, Cadogan and Hilton Hotels, with projects in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, York and across Europe.

Originally built in 1912, Villa Copenhagen is an impressive new hotel opened within the capital’s historic Central Post & Telegraph Head Office. Epicurean – Goddard Littlefair’s emerging F&B sister company – was called upon to transform all five of the hotel’s food and beverage outlets within this iconic building, in addition to casting their creative eye over a selection of public spaces, including the wellness and pool area and various meeting and event spaces.

The vision for the F&B venues was to create five distinctive destinations with several points of difference; introducing something new and fun to the marketplace whilst honouring Scandinavian design sensibility and recognising the specific locale. Styled to be familiar yet magical for the Danish market and authentic to guests, each space channels unpretentious mid-century design with beautifully crafted references to both past and present.

Image credit: F&B areas inside Villa Copenhagen, designed by Goddard Littlefair

Image credit: F&B areas inside Villa Copenhagen, designed by Goddard Littlefair

Nous Design

Nous Design, founded by Director Nir Gilad, is an international design company creating experiences that tell a story, connecting people to places through their emotions via tailor-made design solutions.

Starting each project with fresh eyes, their design inspiration begins by listening, and then combines the client’s aspirations with the unrevealed potential of the location, to produce a unique multisensory experience.

Whether evoking calming stillness in a spa or a dynamic statement at a rooftop bar, ​Nous Design places the future guest at the heart of the narrative and considers how to connect and immerse them in the story.  Their aim is to ‘gift’ the guest another five minutes in their day or perhaps increase their work productivity when away from their day-to-day environment.

Based in London, this award-winning interior design company is currently working on projects in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia that vary from standalone restaurants and spas to luxury resort hotels and city-centre hubs.

Immersed in the natural beauty of the Galil and Golan mountains in the north of Israel, Setai Hotel award-winning hospitality experience that comprises 158 luxury suites with direct access to individual infinity pools. The spacious public areas include lounges, restaurants and an upmarket spa with 14 unique treatment rooms arranged in a circular building around a central skylight.

Working closely with local builders and manufacturers, Nous Design created an environment inspired by the surrounding countryside and using native materials. The reception area is one such example, with decorative partitions that imitate eucalyptus trees and guide guests’ view towards the lake vista, creating an oasis feel.

The restaurant continues this theme, with wooden louvres and a large central table displaying the richness of the local Middle Eastern cuisine through decorative elements from the region, whilst creating a relaxed but refined environment.

Setai Hotel by Nous Design- copy

Image credit: Setai Hotel, designed by Nous Design

NEWH UK Chapter, which Hotel Designs is a media partner for, hosts a plethora of events throughout the year, including an up-coming brunch at HIX Event and the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo in December.

Main image credits: Dennis Irvine Studio/Goddard Littlefair/Mel Yates/Nous Design

Virtual roundtable - bathroom specification

Virtual roundtable: Concept vs reality in bathroom specification

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Concept vs reality in bathroom specification

With new demands from modern travellers asking for heightened wellness and wellbeing experiences sheltered inside hotels, designing a timeless bathroom has become even more of a challenge in recent years. Hotel Designs’ latest roundtable, in association with Utopia Projects, welcomes leading interior designers to help us separate concept over reality when it comes to specifying bathroom elements…

Virtual roundtable - bathroom specification

There’s a lot more to bathroom specification than simply selecting products, on budget, that will create the exact look and feel you were trying to achieve. In 2020, Ideal Standard undertook some research to establish exactly what interior designers’ thoughts were regarding bathroom design. The results showed that 73 per cent of designers agreed that washrooms are the most difficult rooms to design and plan in commercial projects. Some would argue, with new consumer demands around wellness and wellbeing, if the same survey was taken today then that number would be much higher.

In order to understand the challenges – and more importantly the solutions – when it comes to specifying bathrooms in 2021, we launched a roundtable with the help of Utopia Projects, which offers a unique service, working with designers to specify the appropriate products for their projects at the best prices, after the layout of a bathroom has been established. To cut through the noise, and to really understand the industry’s top tips when it comes to designing the bathroom, we were joined by industry-leading interior designers.

On the panel: 

Hamish Kilburn: How much of the design is driven by function and how much is driven by the form of the design? 

Craig McCkie: As hospitality designers, I believe we like to get the foundations right first – and a great shower experience is a great place to start.

When working with hotel chains, there are certain bathroom brands that we naturally gravitate towards because they meet brand standards. What is encouraging to see is that those brands give us the luxury to explore different finishes, colours and other qualities. I think the industry has really benefited, aesthetically, from the drive for suppliers to bring down the cost of these additional services.

Vince Stroop: For seven years or more, hotel bathroom design has been following certain trends taken from the residential sector. In order for that to happen, brands that supplied to the hospitality industry had to keep up. As a result, there are now more options out there that, importantly, also function really well. Generically speaking, there are two things any guest is after when checking in to a hotel: a comfortable bed and a decent shower. If you don’t get those elements right then you will lose out on getting repeat business. To be competitive, brands and independents have had to step up.

Nick Hickson: In addition to budget, it’s also important to consider the amount of space allocated to bathrooms – I have seen bathroom space allocated in hotels grow over the years, as it [the bathroom] has become a more of a feature within the overall aesthetic. In some ways, we are now trying to open the bathroom up or have a visible window from this area into the bedroom in order to pinch some of the space back. Ultimately, this comes down to designing the bathroom intelligently so that there is a cohesive language in both areas.

HK: How much of the overall budget is typically allocated towards the bathrooms in hotel design?

Joey Goei-Jones: With the clients we’ve been working with, they are all starting to realise the importance of the bathroom within the offering of the guest experience. If there is a complaint, more likely than not, it will come from the bathroom. In cities such as London, there are a lot of older properties so bathrooms tend to be outdated. What we try to do is encourage clients to considering things as a whole when making budget decisions.

A lot of the time, we see clients allocating about 20 – 25 per cent of the per-room budget on the bathrooms. I always say that realistically they are not going to be refurbish the bathroom regularly so we would much prefer to throw everything at the bathroom in order to future-proof it, which is such an important element.

Also, as consumer demands evolve we have had to consider other things, such as shower or WASHLET toilets. Traditionally, we would never intentionally put electric products too close to water for obvious reasons. Therefore, making sure the infrastructure is up to a quality standard is vital.

Stuart Adamson: One of our driving factors when working with designers is that we look at those elements, and when considering future-proofing the reliability factor creeps in because aesthetics is one thing. Most manufacturers will tell you that they can meet the water pressure requirements and the flow requirements that you need to reduce flow but without sacrificing performance. What we have realised is that some manufacturers are better than others when it comes to producing really good spares availability for a long time after the product has been discontinued. We are constantly searching for the brands that really shine in this area to ensure that the products we specify really are future-proofed.

HK: Why aren’t more brands that are well known in the residential market more popular among hotel designers?

CM: We can be very limited because certain hotel groups already have their list of preferred suppliers.

NH: Reliability is key and many of the German brands have really proven themselves in this area. From our brand, being more Italian, we just like to look at collections that (I have to say) are just so much better looking.

We are working on a project at the moment where we are working closely with a supplier to modify and adapt a particular range they already have on the market so that it is more relevant for a spa environment. Yes, there’s a longer lead time – in fact, it takes more time for everyone involved – but there is a uniqueness about that project.

DH: I think it’s true, in the last five or six years, clients have been wanting everything to feel more bespoke and they are wanting to have something unique in their design. We are finding this more and more, which is very closely linked to the rise in lifestyle brands and hotels. Everyone is seeing that movement influence design and considering the interface guests have with these products. Therefore, bespoke design is finding a larger role.

Luxury bathroom in the Maldives

Image credit: Kuda Villingili

HK: In an industry that is full of collaboration, what is holding designers back when it comes to working with a bathroom consultant?

JGJ: Certain suppliers will be a bit louder about their brands ­– and therefore we only really here from the suppliers and not the bathroom consultants who are able to give us all the ranges. We view Utopia Projects as experts and they are able to give us immediate information.

VS: We have a similar situation. Also, we are working with a lot of consultants already on a project, but it would be great to work with a bathroom consultant just so that we can then flex our design muscle a bit stronger. Also, it’s really helpful to be able to have that impartial, non-biased voice when it comes to advice.

HK: In a previous roundtable, we focused the spotlight on ethical design – and it was pretty shocking to realise that major brands are unknowingly partnering with factories that have terrible ethical values in the race to label their products with competitive prices. With this in mind, how much research do you, as designers, put in to finding out the methods of manufacturing and the materials used in the production stages?

JGJ: In the bathroom area, especially, a lot of brands have always been very open and have invited us to the factories. For me, that’s always been really valuable because you can meet the people who are making the products and see where the waste goes. In general, it just gives us peace of mind.

SA: We only work with brands who will release an ethical statement for the business. We will not work with brands where there is no traceability.

NH: I tend to look at bathroom design like architecture design because you are looking at so many different elements and materials that have to fit together and meet solutions. These are things that any designer, looking at that aspect, has to be very aware. When things go wrong, they go wrong badly. When you understand the architectural conjunction, you prevent where possible running into those issues. Following on from that, understanding the ethical decisions, we somewhat take it for granted that these brands are doing everything they can to ensure we are operating in an ethical arena.

Bathroom inside Six Senses Ibiza

Image credit: Six Senses Ibiza

HK: How far can we push the boundaries of bathroom design, which as you mention, has to be very technically accurate? 

NH: It’s a juggling act, and what we try to is break down these established rules. It’s not always easy and it can take up a little more space but that develops new solutions within those spaces. For us, it’s just a creative process that we really enjoying working in. As a result, it enlivens the guests experience and allows for a more enriching experience.

CM: Going back to budget, the vanity space can be as important in a room than any of the FF&E. A nice piece is a nice piece. It blurs the line where you are spending the money. If you bring the bathroom into the guestroom then, then you are creating multi-purpose spaces. In terms of longevity, a vanity piece is going to be made of more robust material – so that makes a lot of sense.

HK: What would say is the biggest challenge that modern designers face when creating bathroom spaces?

JGJ: A lot of the time it will come down to budget, but brands are developing so quickly to launch new products. It can be difficult to be up to date on the latest products, and that’s where a consultant can really help. Clients are starting to gauge on the technical side and we are all learning – and that naturally lends itself well to working with experts.

NH: Some of the challenges are unavoidable. The bathroom is probably the area within the hotel that changes the most from concept to completion. This is because of all the connections with all the services within the building. Especially on new-builds where space is a premium, you spend a good amount of time just formatting the rises that are coming into the building.

VS: And the layout of the bathroom is actually one of the biggest aspects – and it is a huge challenge for designers, to ensure, from an operational perspective, that these areas are accessible to get to. On top of that, you have to design a unique experience for your guests. If designers go too trendy in their design then they are potentially lowering that space’s longevity. I approach bathroom design like a puzzle and try to find the right parts that fit.

HK: When you’re pitching, how many of those boxes when it comes to bathroom design are ticked?

DH: I think it’s really key, when you are pitching, that you put forward something that is forward-thinking and that is different. It is important to push yourselves and your perspective clients to think differently. Of course, budget is a consideration, but if you sell the big idea of a particular part of a bathroom that becomes an integral part of the design, you can manage the budget in different ways to ensure that it happens.

NH: As designers, we are presenting good ideas but sometimes a client can run away with your idea. Therefore, I think it’s wise to be suggestive. There is a very fine line there, and we tend to be a bit more conceptual in our pitches.

Utopia Projects is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Utopia Projects/Hotel Designs/University Arms Cambridge

Bathroom design | Contemporary hotel bathroom, with moody interiors

Collaboration goals: KEUCO & TEAM7 create luxe bathroom concept

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Collaboration goals: KEUCO & TEAM7 create luxe bathroom concept

TEAM 7 and KEUCO have combined heads to form a luxurious bathroom furnishing concept, which has resulted in the striking interiors of EDITION LIGNATUR…

For more than 60 years, the Austrian company TEAM 7 has been creating exquisite, meticulously handcrafted, solid wood furniture for every area of the house. However, one room was missing; the bathroom. This issue was solved by forming a partnership with KEUCO; its expertise in washbasins, light mirrors, accessories and fittings led to the creation of EDITION LIGNATUR.

Bathroom design | Contemporary hotel bathroom, with moody interiors

Created by leading design agency Tesseraux + Partner; each piece of EDITION LIGNATUR bathroom furniture is individually crafted and produced. The collection includes, single or double washbasins which can be recessed or table-top, sideboards, tall units and benches. All of the furniture is made from one of three premium natural woods: light oak, Venetian oak, (which gets its extraordinary appearance from natural embellishments produced by the shipworm) and noble walnut.

The wood grain of each piece of natural wood used for EDITION LIGNATUR furniture has to look good together with the grain of every other piece. To achieve this they take the time beforehand to arrange the individual slats that make up the natural wood panels to make sure they look good together and to produce a harmonious overall picture in the bathroom. This first procedure is a specific step called ‘painting with wood’.

As the base units made of premium woods, it is possible to combine washbasins made of Varicor or ceramic. A free-standing fitting that was designed specifically for the round Varicor basin stands raised in the middle of the washbasin.

The washbasins can also be combined with KEUCO wall-mounted fittings. KEUCO accessories put the finishing touch on the harmonious overall picture.

The EDITION LIGNATUR light mirror has very special features: The luminous colour can be infinitely adjusted and dimmed from warm white to daylight-like illumination (2700 – 6500 Kelvin) by pressing a touch-sensitive key panel. This makes it possible to adapt the light to the mood of the user and also allow you to see for example, when applying makeup what the effect would be outdoors, in the office or in a restaurant as the mirror’s light shade causes the light to fall pleasantly from above. After showering, a smart detail ensures that the integrated mirror heater guarantees fog-free vision in a matter of seconds.

> Since you’re here, why not read about KEUCO’s IXMO Shower series? 

KEUCO is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: KEUCO

David mason interview - scott brownrigg | Hotel Designs

A young designer’s interview: Q&A with David Mason, Director, Scott Brownrigg

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A young designer’s interview: Q&A with David Mason, Director, Scott Brownrigg

In the second interview in an exclusive series between Hotel Designs and NEWH UK Chapter, that aims to bridge the generation gap between designers and architects, editor Hamish Kilburn moderates an interview between young designer Marissa Miltiadous and David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg

David mason interview - scott brownrigg | Hotel Designs

 It’s a hard-knock life being a young designer in the current climate. Jobs for juniors are scarce, while opportunities for students entering the workplace are few and far between. However, it’s not like we haven’t been here before ­– meaning that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg encountered a similar start to his career to that of today’s students. In the ‘90s, when Mason was optimistically graduating from university, somewhat naively expecting life to fall into place, the UK was heading into a recession. In short, the landscape for young designers looked pretty bleak. Determined to stay in the design profession, Mason took a role with a graphics company and through hard work, a bit of luck and saying ‘yes’ to almost every opportunities that would strengthen his portfolio, Mason found himself on the radar.

Following stints at Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Fox Linton Associates, Woods Bagot and consulting independently, in 2016 Mason found ‘his people’ at Scott Brownrigg, entering the studio first as a Project Director, and later (in 2018) became a Director.

Now heading up the hospitality division at the company, he agreed to take part in our next young designer’s interview, this time with Marissa Miltiadous holding the mic, a post-graduate Part 1 designer who, in 2019 won an NEWH scholarship for her ‘studio of fresh thought’ concept.

Marissa Miltiadous: When did you first realise you wanted to be an interior designer?

David Mason: As a youngster, I enjoyed building things and I had an innate creative side. My parents were super supportive and let me follow my dream.

Interior design is so far from being just about decoration. I learned this when specialising in interior design at college. I then received an undergraduate degree from University of Birmingham. Looking back, it’s been an amazing and long journey, full of exciting and unexpected moments that have kept me on my toes and always growing.

“Young designers should not be disheartened by rejection.” – David Mason, Head of  Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg.

I graduated in 1993, just as the nation was in the throes of recession. It was a terrible time to enter the market but determined to stay in the design field which I loved I worked as a graphic designer. Two years later I went back to university to study for my masters and then, off the back of that, I applied to London firms. The rest is history. I recognise the hardest part is the first step. Young designers should not be disheartened by rejection, it can often be luck and timing. Interior projects are fast moving and we often need more people should a number of projects go live at the same time. The industry is opening up, albeit slowly, but it is still showing encouraging signs of recovery from the pandemic.

Hamish Kilburn: What about you, Marissa?

MM: I was 14 years old when I realised that I wanted to be an interior design ­– there were signs younger. [As a child], I would constantly move things around to make spaces look more exciting. I didn’t register at the time that I had a passion for how spaces looked. When I went to university it all fit and I was able to channel my natural instinct towards colour and take my passion further.

MM: What lessons did you learn when entering the workplace?

DM: To be honest, it’s a constant learning process. Every day is different. The most significant lesson I learned as a young designer was understanding that university only sets you up so far but the job is very different in the workplace. My university experience was about pushing students creatively. Our job, in reality, is hard. We are responsible for a lot of components and that’s what makes it great.

When you are design student, you don’t necessarily see the bigger picture. And then, when you enter the workplace, you have to all of a sudden see the large canvas.

Purple lighting in large, swanky bar in London

Image caption: Hard Rock Hotel London, designed by Scott Brownrigg | Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

MM: How does Scott Brownrigg help young designers get the recognition they deserve?

DM: We celebrate our designers as part of a collaborative team. We include junior designers in our meetings ­– especially during lockdown with the use of seamless software to keep the team together. We also like to include our research and development team in many of our conversations so that we are always moving forward. Internationally, we present our work to our peers, and allow everyone the opportunity, regardless of job title, to have their input. That way, we ensure that everyone is part of the process.

We welcome opinions and everyones voice. We encourage these opinions. That’s where discussion leads to great design – and that, in my opinion, is how we can grow as designers.

MM: What is Scott Brownrigg’s approach to sustainability?

DM: It’s a massive topic for our industry – so much so that we actually have a sustainability and wellness team within our business to keep us on track. It’s always on our agenda. There’s still an outlay for the client – we work on research to ensure that it’s beneficial for the client. For some clients, sustainability is an absolute must and many recognise It goes beyond towel washing and removing miniatures from the bathroom. It’s much larger and starts earlier. We look at carbon-neutral building practice and analyse key factors and requirements to bring down our impact.  Being a multi-discipline practice, we have an advantage because we closely with our architects. We are finding that there’s a mutual synergy between everyone involved in our projects to produce buildings that have been designed consciously.

The more that this develops, the more the client starts demanding sustainable approaches, the quicker the costs will come down and that in itself will allow for sustainable design to be much more achievable. You have to get the client on board from the beginning. If you can take the client on a journey with you it allows them to see the the benefit for all.

 

MM: What advice would you give to designers beginning in their careers, particularly now during the pandemic.

DM: Let’s face it, you have been locked away, and that’s not natural. You should be clawing at the walls to get out to see and experience hospitality again – and that should not be limited to what social media wants you to see.

When I started as a junior designer, we read books, flicked through magazines and then went to see the latest new bar and restauarant openings and the spaces that inspired us ­– even if that meant just ordering a soft drink at the bar because we had no money. So, my advice would be to go and see everything and soak it all in again. As a result, it will not only broaden your mindset but also give you more to play with when it comes to interview. With everything opening back up again, it’s such an interesting time for hospitality and if you want to be part of designing the next era, you have to experience what is happening now!

Also, I know it’s hard at the moment, but keep applying for jobs! When I interview people, I want to know who they follow and who (and what) they are inspired by. People often can’t answer it, which surprises me.

Another big bugbear is when people don’t research our company. Do your homework. Visit the website, go see our projects. Ultimately though, don’t give up, it will happen.

 

MM: What challenges do you see impacting the industry? 

DM: For me, during the pandemic there were so many articles about where hotel design is heading – and a lot of them were quite negative. As far as I am concerned, now is such an exciting time for the design industry! Think about it… the festival of design post-war. They built the southbank and created this movement towards new development and design in the wake of a major depression. Now is the time to think completely outside the box. In a blink of an eye, our perspectives have changed. We made lockdown work; we adapted and now that we are coming out of lockdown, we can re-write design and what was ‘the norm’.

MM: What projects are you currently working on?

DM: We are working on a number of hospitality projects with two of our hotels about to start on site.. It’s great timing as it gives our team the opportunity to see the project develop, from demolition, 1st/2nd fix to completion. It’s the only way for the team to see  a hotel come together and truly understand what they are drawing. Site knowledge is invaluable, and lessons learnt will be carried through to future projects .

We have also just started on two master plans, one of which will be a major mixed use development with a hotel, ballroom, conference facilities, spa and F&B outlets  as well as an experiential project & hotel with a well known lifestyle brand.

MM:  Finally, tell me something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you?

DM: I am grade two on the violin (you asked…)

> Since you’re here, why not read our first interview in this series, between James Ingram and James Dilley?

Main image credit: Scott Brownrigg

Industry insight: Best hotel flooring options

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: Best hotel flooring options

With hotels expecting to stand the test of time, in function as well as aesthetics, choosing the right flooring for each area is integral. Luxury Flooring are on hand to offer a guiding light on which materials work best…

What is the first thing you notice when you arrive at your hotel? Is it the extravagant chandelier draping over the front desk or the parquet style floor in the front lobby? Exceptional design starts with a floor, especially in places where you want to impress your guests.

The lobby

The lobby is the first thing your guests walk through when they enter your hotel, and often form their assumptions on what the rest of it looks like. Give your guests a memorable first impression with Luxury Vinyl Tiles. LVT comes in a variety of imitated materials ranging from wood, stone and tile. Along with styles such as parquet, chevron and herringbone, that show class and versatility.

The Lobby at The Londoner hotel

Image caption: The lobby/lounge inside The Londoner | Image credit: Andrew Beasley

Serve your guests with parquet style luxury vinyl tiles. Parquet flooring first graced the palace of Versailles in 1684, France, and became increasingly popular throughout Europe. The flooring style was installed in grand homes of the wealthy and could only be installed by skilled craftsmen. It’s durable, water-resistant which is a perfect fit for a lobby with it being incredibly bust 24/7.

This floor is made to look modern with a traditional twist, you can go in any direction with its unique pattern. Minimalistic hotel? Pair a light, parquet LVT with light-coloured walls and taupe furnishings to give your lobby an airy feel. Or if your hotel is on the traditional side, opt-in for a dark, chocolate brown LVT with daring red and royal green interiors.

The bedroom

The bedroom is the one room where guests can relax and wind down. At the end of the day, they want to come back to a room that’s cosy and comfortable, right? One of the first things they do is take their shoes off. And with the floor being the first thing they touch, it’s important to provide them with luxury and comfort.

Image credit: Plaza 18/Philip Vile

Solid wood; prized for its elegance, beauty and individuality. The material graces grand halls, statement lobbies and penthouse suites, making it one of the most luxurious flooring choices out there. Solid wood flooring is becoming increasingly popular in the hotel industry, especially with it being installed in more bedrooms. Parquet style flooring is making a statement in Parisian hotels and slowly shifting across Europe with its versatile and expensive design.

Solid wood comes in a variety of colours and statement patterns ranging from herringbone, chevron and parquet. Pair these floors with cashmere-coloured sheets and soft linen curtains for a space that’ll teleport you to a sanctuary in the Maldives. For a city vibe, industrial-like décor and open-brick walls will look effortlessly stylish against chocolate brown oak.

Solid Oak is a hard material, so make sure to dress it with soft rugs. Add gowns and slippers for extra comfort and luxury, you want to make sure your guests feel at home!

The bathroom

The bathroom is the one room in your hotel room that needs to be stylish and practical. Stylish bathrooms have taken the interior world by storm by having brass accents, limestone walls, smart showers and toilets. But the main thing hoteliers need to consider is the flooring.

A cool, contemporary bathroom inside golf resort in Palm Springs

Image credit: PGA National Resort & Spa

The best option for bathroom flooring in hotel rooms is stone vinyl tiles. They are durable, water-resistant and have good gripping properties. Stone vinyl tiles are modern and come in a wide range of colours and styles while imitating the natural look of stone. If you want to achieve a rustic look with authentic tile, then go for colours such as ambient grey or blue slate.

Every floor is catered for every hotel, it just depends on what kind of hotel you’re in. If you’re a chain and want an all-rounder, LVT flooring is the one for you. If you own a mini or boutique hotel, solid and engineered flooring are more desirable options. It all just depends on how many people stay with you.

Main image credit: W Hotels

Yi-Zhen Twenty2Degrees

Meet Yi-Zhen Jones, Associate at twenty2degrees Design Partnership

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Meet Yi-Zhen Jones, Associate at twenty2degrees Design Partnership

Recently promoted, Yi-Zehn Jones is shaking things up inside the creative and forward-thinking design studio we all know and love, Twenty2Degrees Design Partnership. Following the completion of The Fellows House in Cambridge, the interior designer sat down with editor Hamish Kilburn to explain what working life is like inside one of London’s leading design firms…

Yi-Zhen Twenty2Degrees

There are few hotel design studios who can tell a story quite like Twenty2Degrees Design Partnership. Led by Joe Stella and Nick Stoupas, the duo are known for keeping the party alive (throwback to the negroni tap that was displayed and fully functional at their set at Sleep & Eat 2019) while also driving the industry forward. Having completed hotels such as The Dixon, The Artisan and Hilton Bankside (among others), the design studio secured its place in the hospitality design history books.

Recently, the completion of The Fellows House in Cambridge, which shelters a deep narrative I described in my review as “a history, chemistry, literature and art lesson packaged up in one unforgettable hospitality experience”, put the design firm front and centre as the city becomes a major hotel development hotspot. When researching the designers who were behind this sharp project, I came across interior designer Yi-Zhen Jones, who has recently been promoted as Associate at Twenty2Degrees. Move over, lads, Jones’ taking the reins and leaving her mark…

Lobby area inside The Fellows House

Image credit: The Fellows House, Cambridge

Hamish Kilburn: What’s it like working for a cutting-edge design firm like twenty2degrees?

Yi-Zhen Jones: Before I joined twenty2degrees just over two years ago, the majority of my experience was with global architectural & design firms which was a good learning opportunity. Now, as part of the twenty2degrees’ team, I am working in a specialist practice with an international hospitality portfolio of the highest level where we have the depth of hospitality expertise to work on varied projects and I can learn from and engage with people who really understand everything it takes to design a great hotel.

More than this, the directors really encourage everyone’s engagement and ideas. We are a small, very collaborative team which means there is a sense of freedom and creative expression but at the same time of personal responsibility. We all have our areas of expertise but we can pitch in and help each other out wherever necessary – we have a great team. We work hard but we are also able to maintain a great balance between work and personal life which is strongly encouraged by the directors. Twenty2degrees has been a refreshing change of pace.

HK: Can you explain your new role – how does it differ from your former role – at the design studio?

YZJ: “My role is evolving. As senior designer, I was involved in almost all the projects at some point – that’s the nature of a boutique firm, we are all hands-on. Now, as associate, I am more deeply involved in certain projects and taking on more of the decision making, but always in consultation with the directors.

HK: What projects have you recently completed – and what are you currently working on?

I have been working on The Fellows House Cambridge, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton which opened in June. It is an apartment-style hotel designed to offer a home-away-from-home, infused with the legacy of the university fellows and the cultural soul of Cambridge. The question for us had been how to achieve this without being too literal and while the design narrative is sometimes thought-provoking, it is also playful and layered to feed guest curiosity.

Currently, I am busy on Hyatt Regency projects in London, Paris and Nairobi, as well as the Marriott Brussels and a new Kempinski in Cameroon. We have an incredible variety of projects and there is never a dull moment.

HK: You recently participated in a panel discussion with us on sensory design, which will be published shortly. Why as an industry have we not given this topic the same attention as we are currently giving it?

YZJ: I think perhaps that the pandemic has something to do with this. We have spent 18 months enduring lockdowns which on the one hand deprived us of new experiences but on the other gave us the space to connect with our senses. As a result, people are now more aware about the benefits of sensory stimulation.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: Name one trend you hope that never returns?
YZ:
Designing for Instagram

HK: Name one hotel brand that is impressing you as a real disrupter on the hotel design scene?
YZJ: Birch

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
YZJ: Simple. A trip home to New Zealand to have a proper Christmas on the beach again when travel restrictions are eased

HK: What’s one thing people would not know about you?
YZJ: In my former life as an artist I was quite a prolific cross-stitcher

HK: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
YZJ: Still doing what I love, designing great hotels!

HK: As a woman in a leadership position, what more can we do to practice (not just promote) equality in our sector?

YZJ: I consider myself lucky at twenty2degrees where people are judged by their talent and contribution to the business. However, I do think diversity in all its forms as well as gender equality need to be addressed in our sector and that this is a challenge that needs to be made to everyone in leadership positions. The more voices that are represented and heard the better and more interesting our industry will be.

HK: Young designers are struggling at the moment – what advice would you give young professionals?

YZJ: Keep your creative spark alive, whatever it takes, and don’t become disheartened. Actually, it was quite a difficult marketplace when I graduated with my master’s degree. It took me the best part of a year to find my first full-time placement and then another year before I started working on hospitality projects. Ultimately, if you are interested and determined, you will break into the industry.

Main image credit: Twenty2Degrees Design Partnership

Hotel Designs | Liquid Layers collection by Moooi in minimalist room

At one with nature: Liquid Layers by Moooi Carpet

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
At one with nature: Liquid Layers by Moooi Carpet

Hotel Designs has identified a common thread between the latest collections launched by Moooi Carpets: nature and the organic natural world. But it is one fluid range, Liquid Layers designed by Claire Vos, that has made quite the splash…

Hotel Designs | Liquid Layers collection by Moooi in minimalist room

Bringing the outdoors in is the interior design trend that just keeps on giving. For Moooi Carpets, the rise in demand for biophilic design has allowed its design team to create interesting and vivid carpet collection.

Most recently, one new range from the brand has particularly sparked designers’ interest as it’s inspiration comes from looking beyond what we see on the surface. Cue the launch of Liquid Layers, designed by Claire Vos and conceptualised by objects of nature morphed and liquified into new patterns.

What happens when you deconstruct the shapes and colours found in nature and morph and liquify them into new patterns? Imagine a carpet collection inspired by the objects of nature, in which each design highlights a different mineral or organism, such as the marlstone, a tulip, or a pebble. Well, in the Liquid Layers collection, nature becomes fluid.

For this colleciton, Vos created a design technique where the possibilities are infinite, resulting in a unique approach towards pattern design surprising layer by layer.

The carpets are available in shapes organic and round. Carpets Tulip and Agate come in the shape organic; an unexpected round overlapping shape, very different from traditional carpets. Carpets Marl and Pebble are round and provide softness to angular spaces and gives minimalist interiors character.

Moooi Carpets is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Moooi Carpets

Hotel Designs | matt black fireplace in modern lounge with yellow seating

Introducing the next gen of modern fireplaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Introducing the next gen of modern fireplaces

Adding modern drama and context to a contemporary interior design scheme, FOCUS has launched the new glazed GYROFOCUS fireplaces, with an ‘Ecodesign Ready’ closed hearth, which fully compliant with regulations that come into force on January 1, 2022…

Hotel Designs | matt black fireplace in modern lounge with yellow seating

Imperceptible at first glance, the glazed GYROFOCUS has a new and unique curved glass window that protects the environment without altering the original design – a huge technological feat for Focus, which remain at the forefront of fireplace innovation.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the gas GYROFOCUS?

Keeper of the flames

The new design includes all the advantages of a real fire are preserved without the risk of sparks flying thanks to the ingenious frameless sliding glass window that fits seamlessly into the hearth. This allows for a perfect view of the wood burning fire with its flickering flames, all with the added benefit of energy efficiency.

Hotel Designs | Modern lounge with black matt fireplace

Image

Compliance

The new Glazed GYROFOCUS is compliant with all new legislation concerning wood-burning appliances coming into force early in 2022. However, FOCUS has been pushing boundaries since 2015; it has implemented the strictest regulations complying to the highest environmental levels including a four-star 4 Stelle rating in Italian environmental regulations, one of the most demanding in the world.

Energy efficiency

Despite the product challenging conventional approaches in fireplace design, the new innovation remains extremely straightforward to use. Thanks to the regulation of the air supply at the base of the opening, it is very easy to adjust the power of the fire and choose low or high intensity options. A key positioned on the duct also helps conserve the fireplace’s energy and maintain heat in the room.

Original design

More than 12 months of research and development, alongside extensive testing, were necessary to develop the Glazed GYROFOCUS whilst ensuring the original design remained intact, including its ability to pivot at 360°. FOCUS continues to impress with its technical prowess in converting its designs to newest and most advanced standards while respecting the aesthetics of its models.

The GYROFOCUS is a prestigious design created in 1968, which has become an international classic and the symbol of the brand.  This model is taught in a school of architecture and was voted La Cosa Più Bella Del Mondo (the most beautiful design in the world) by Italians. It was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The glazed GYROFOCUS now completes the GYROFOCUS collection of wood, gas and outdoor models.

FOCUS is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: FOCUS

A subdued design scheme inside Ace Hotel Sydney guestroom

Ace unveils design details for its debut hotel in Australia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ace unveils design details for its debut hotel in Australia

Atelier Ace has announced that Flack Studio is the primary design partner for Ace Hotel Sydney, which will open in 2022. The 264-key hotel will be housed inside the site of one of Australia’s first ceramic kilns – we wonder where the designers will source their inspiration from…

A subdued design scheme inside Ace Hotel Sydney guestroom

Muti-disciplinary interior design and architecture firm Flack Studio, founded in 2014, has been announced as the primary design partner for Ace Hotel Sydney, which, when it opens in 2022, will mark Ace’s first stake in the southern hemisphere.

With a ground floor restaurant, bar and cafe in the hotel’s communal lobby and a restaurant and bar on the rooftop, Ace Hotel Sydney will invite the ready rhythm of Surry Hills inside — an active commons for culture, commerce, art and community. The hotel itself will be housed in the area’s historic Tyne House brick factory — the site of one of Australia’s first ceramic kilns.

“Though its culture and character are all its own, we’ve always felt a strong a affinity with Australia — its intrepid optimism and renegade spirit resonates with Ace’s roots on the Pacific Coast of America,” said Brad Wilson, President, Ace Hotel Group. “We love the country’s distinctive brand of modernism, particularly in the use of local organic materials, and were lucky enough to find a perfectly modernist partner in Flack Studio. David’s eye for colour and space is completely singular — a dream design collaborator for our first hotel in Australia.”

“Flack Studio embraced organic materials to create spaces honest to this history.”

Inspired by the rich history of Surry Hills and the warm, cinematic colour palette of the Australian landscape, the design of Ace Hotel Sydney acts as a call and response with the city’s past — superimposing its eras and evolutions in a contrast of natural textures and tones. From the razor gang wars and underground liquor trade of the 1920s and 1930s, the modernist art boon of the 1960s and through to the Gay Solidarity Group protests of the 1970s, the neighbourhood has long served as home to the most trailblazing and resilient voices of modern Australia — a culture coalesced from Surry Hills’ vibrant migrant communities. Flack Studio embraced organic materials to create spaces honest to this history — from the acoustic textural straw walls of the hotel’s guest rooms to the striking ochre red off-form concrete staircase in its lobby.

A respect of craftsmanship is threaded throughout the building, with many of its furnishings, artworks and interior details created uniquely for this project. Guestroom furniture, joinery and lighting have all been carefully custom designed by the design studio, with textile-adorned window seats designed to invite conversation in each space.

“Surry Hills has been home to so many culturally important movements and people, and has always been a home for creatives and migrating cultures,” added David Flack, Founder and Director of Flack Studio. “We wanted to preserve the creative, slightly renegade energy of the space since its origins as one of Australia’s early brickworks. We were committed to creating a warm space that brought together Australia’s cultural history with Ace’s unique, community cultivating approach to hospitality.”

> Since you’re here, why not read about the opening of Ace Hotel Brooklyn?

Still to come… Ace Hotel Sydney will be announcing the full details of its food and beverage program — including the additional design partner for the rooftop restaurant and bar. Stay tuned for further details in the coming months.

Main image credit: Anson Smart

Rock Galpin and his new collection of furniture

Rock Galpin: “My new furniture collection is like a human hug”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rock Galpin: “My new furniture collection is like a human hug”

A few years and a pandemic after editor Hamish Kilburn first put forward Rock Galpin as the designer that furniture brand Morgan should work with next, the collaboration has reached a milestone with the unveiling of the Lugano Collection. Ahead of its official reveal this week, Kilburn exclusively caught up with Galpin and Morgan to find out more…

Rock Galpin and his new collection of furniture

I’m stood in Clerkenwell, a site myself and fellow design enthusiasts are familiar of. Although the streets are almost empty and the lights in many showrooms are switched off (for now) – it all looks so different post-pandemic – Dallington Street has a pulse running through it. There’s excitement in the September air as the Morgan showroom is about to shelter the official unveil of a new furniture collection. The Lugano Collection, designed by legendary furniture designer, Rock Galpin, has taken years to perfect – and London Design Festival 2021, four years since I first met the designer himself, is the perfect time (and place) for such an occasion.

It’s more than just another product launch affair for me. Believe it or not, I was the one who connected the brand with the designer a few years ago, before there were signs of a cultural shift – and planting a seed is all the credit I shall I claim with this collection. Following a few emails, the creative flair from both sides came together in harmony, with the aim to create a comfortable masterpiece for the brand to confront a new hospitality era.

Ahead of the official unveil, which takes place later this week, the team have kindly offered Hotel Designs the exclusive interview, for us to understand how this partnership evolved following our most meaningful introduction (to date)…

Hamish Kilburn: First things first, Rock, talk us through how this collection’s themes came about…

Rock Galpin: Personally I believe that the ‘quality of the experience’ of a design, of a product such as this, has become increasing more and more important. I believe we are now looking for design that serves us on a much higher level, beyond utilitarian needs, where greater levels of comfort, increased quality of experience of use, control, even empowerment with a more ethical stand point will enable a more meaningful outcome.

“The collection took shapes from simple wrap around forms that hug you – like a human hug.” – Rock Galpin.

To bring this back to the collection, the starting point for me was a simple one; to focus on comfort and what I associate with it. Warmth, being wrapped up, hugged, softness around, smoothness, soft forms and materials that we connect with, deriving from nurture and to be nurtured. The collection took shapes from simple wrap around forms that hug you – like a human hug. The frame supporting the user in a kind of protective nurturing cradle, with crafted paddle like legs extending up the sides and back. 

Two armchairs in the new Lugano furniture collection

Image credit: Morgan

As the forms and pieces started to take shape we looked further at materials and colour-ways from inspiration found in nature, one was beach pebbles, which particularly resonated with the collection for me. The experience of being on a beach and searching for that perfect pebble, that fits your hand beautifully, feeling so smooth and warm, with such beautiful colours… almost feeling like it was part of you. This in way is what I have tried to connect with and draw from in the collections typological design development, whilst retaining a certain definition.

HK: What were the major challenges when designing this collection?

RG: Creating a collection that somehow felt fondly familiar but that was also has its own unique personality, whilst potentially being timeless in appeal, is always and exciting challenge and demanding balance to try to get right. In addition there were some interesting challenges with the new method of manufacture in how the elements needed to come together to create one of the main benefits of the collection in interior schemes, that being to offer three distinctly different elements; back/arm rest, seat pad and frame giving many configurable different options, allowing interior designers further possibilities to express their signatures styles, whilst from a sustainable perspective increasing the products operational lifespan, by the option of high wear parts replacement.

Four armchair furniture pieces in the new collection

Image credit: Morgan

HK: What was it like finalising this collection while not only dealing with time zones, but also while confronting a pandemic?

RG: I am certainly the type of person and designer who enjoys working closely, hands on, with clients throughout the whole process, so it was certainly challenging finding ways to communicate particularly with the fine complexities in artistic and design refinement, and ergonomics when there could be no direct contact in the Pandemic lock down. In addition with different timezones and the fact that the week ends and starts on different days in both countries does slow communication down a little, but we’ve found ways to address this. 

HK: We have followed your work for a while now, but what’s different about this collection?

RG: My work, is quite often centred around human behaviour and experiences, with aspirations to push the boundaries of how our material world, in this case furniture can shape an improved life, with exciting materials, processes and technologies. This collection was a little different for me, in a sense that it was far more about a stripped back, more deeply routed project about connection with ‘us’, nature and timelessness. A more timeless collection that celebrates comfort, modern elegance and craftsmanship but one that also take takes a purposeful step forward.

Quick-fire round with Erin Johnson, Design Manager, Morgan

HK: In a sentence, describe the Lugano Collection?

Erin Johnson: Lugano is a collection of dining and lounge chairs, inspired by the idea of ‘nurture’, interpreted through form and balance between individual elements and material compositions.

HK: Tell us more about the name of the collection…

EJ: The collection is named after Lake Lugano, located in southern Switzerland’s Italian Ticino region. Lake Lugano reflects the floating quality of the chair’s seat which, along with the body, floats within the timber frame that cradles them.

HK: What three words would you use to describe working with Rock?

EJ: Vision, perfection, clarity.

HK: Can we expect more collaborative collections by Morgan and Rock?

EJ: We thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with Rock on the Lugano collection. Rock strives for perfection, which is a quality we admire and try to embody ourselves. He challenged us to look at structure and strength of different construction methods, looking at the relationship between frame and body in ways we’ve never explored. So yes, we’d be very open to working with Rock again on future collections.

HK: As a furniture designer, what have you learned throughout this collection with Morgan?

RG: Every project is always an incredible learning process and this project has been no exception. From understanding Morgan’s perspective, the team’s passion for design, their in-house craftsmanship to the limitations and streamlining skills necessary for production to reach beautifully balanced product collections, much has been learnt. It’s a pleasure to work with a manufacturer, such as Morgan, who is prepared to take the time a design really needs to take to create the best outcome, from overall concept to the smallest subtle detail and pricing. 

HK: What can we expect next from you?

Well I am sworn to secrecy, but there is wind of a new collaboration or two, working on some exciting new furniture projects with some very interesting materials and processes. 

In stark contrast I have also been working on an incredibly challenging project for The Ministry of Justice over the last two years, to design and develop an exciting collection of beds for prison cell use by in mates in UK prisons. The collection is currently being prototyped by The Ministry of Justice.

Morgan is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Rock Galpin/Morgan/Ed Reeve 

Public areas inside Graduate hotel in Cambridge

Making an entrance: Can Graduate Hotels’ debut in the UK settle a legendary rivalry?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Making an entrance: Can Graduate Hotels’ debut in the UK settle a legendary rivalry?

Graduate Hotels has made a bold entrance in the UK with the opening of two hotels in Cambridge and Oxford. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores the tension, the design details and what this means for the two locations that have been at war since 1209…

Public areas inside Graduate hotel in Cambridge

Having just returned from Cambridge, I find it difficult to include ‘Cambridge’ and ‘Oxford’ within the same sentence. I say this because in one of the city’s, Oxford is referred to as ‘the O word’ – I can only imagine what Cambridge is known as in Oxford… That’s right, the two universities – both of which pride themselves to be the most prestigious academic institutions in the world – share one thing in common, aside from their ability to churn out Nobel Prize winners; they both share their mutual (un)healthy rivalry towards one another. Since 1209, when the the University of Cambridge was founded, the history books have painted the two establishments as enemies, which has in the past – many, many years ago – even resulted in murder.

Making what I am comfortable to describe as the boldest debuts in 2021 (so far), Graduate Hotels, a collection of handcrafted properties in university-anchored cities across America, has opened its first set of hotels in Europe in… yes, you guessed it… Cambridge and Oxford. Graduate Cambridge and The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels have officially opened their doors for overnight stays with food and beverage outlets to follow later this month.

Inspired by the world-famous academic reputation and unique traditions of the cities and universities, both Graduate Hotels properties offer design rooted in storytelling, distinct food and beverage experiences and a range of programming and events with local partners hosted year round. Crafted for local neighbours and students, regional alums and weekenders and international travellers alike, the hotels both seek to celebrate the dynamic communities they are positioned within.

“Our team is humbled to be launching the Graduate Hotels brand in two of the most historic and prestigious university communities in the world,” said Ben Weprin, Graduate Hotels founder and CEO. “The legacies that these iconic destinations represent drive the ethos of what inspires us to create memorable spaces to be enjoyed for generations to come. We look forward to welcoming global travellers for a uniquely Graduate experience in these centuries old, one-of-a-kind cities.”

Graduate Hotels has partnered with restaurant developer, White Rabbit Projects to launch all food and beverage outlets at Graduate Cambridge and The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels. White Rabbit Projects is behind some of the most exciting hospitality concepts in the U.K. including Kricket, Lina Stores and Island Poké. With input from local suppliers throughout the regions, the range of culinary offerings will encompass restaurant, bar and café concepts.

Inside Graduate Cambridge

Positioned along the idyllic banks of the River Cam, the 148-key Graduate Cambridge is surrounded by the University of Cambridge, within walking distance of several colleges, and a stone’s throw from the city’s best restaurants, bars and shops. The hotel has undergone a complete interior renovation that includes all rooms, common spaces, fitness club and pool. A ground floor conversion has seen the addition of a café and bar, as well as the renovation of the full-service restaurant, which opened on September 10.

Public areas inside Graduate Cambridge

Image credit: Graduate Hotels

Led by Graduate Hotels’ in-house interior design studio, the hotel’s design incorporates the history of the city, making the river the focal point with various accessible views, especially in the lobby bar. Colour palettes, patterns and textures in the public areas reflect the green surroundings of fields and the pastoral English countryside. With the punting boat rentals located just outside, the design brings local inspiration into the hotel, with life-size punting boats incorporated in the bookshelves in the lobby, a statement installation by local craftsmen.

The lobby is also home to a hanging DNA installation to celebrate Rosalind Franklin, a pioneer in the development of DNA at the University of Cambridge. The guest rooms see splashes of “Cambridge Blue.” Key design details include wallpaper depicting school gates, bedside built-ins reimagined as punting boats, whimsical lamps in the shape of a penny coin, as well as striking wood and leather desks to give the rooms a studious feel. Bathrooms feature scenic pastoral wallpaper and mirrors in the shape of the university crest.

The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels

Located in the city’s cultural epicentre, The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels is within close walking distance to the University of Oxford and its iconic colleges, including Trinity and St. John’s. The hotel is also close to St. Giles Street, as well as the world-famous Radcliffe Camera and Ashmolean Museum. The design of the 151-key hotel takes inspiration from the university’s history, paying homage to its storied innovators and alumni. The hotel has undergone a complete renovation across all of the common spaces, the lobby and guest rooms, which includes a spa featuring treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, all of which will open in autumn 2021.

The hotel has relaunched with comprehensive interior renovations throughout all of the guest rooms, the lobby and common spaces. Led by Graduate Hotels’ in-house interior design studio, the design details at The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels include bold hues and architectural elements inspired by the hotel’s heritage and locally inspired art which tells the narratives of Oxford’s past. In-room art includes paintings of Oxford alumni and well-known author and playwright, Oscar Wilde, and a painting of the famous ‘Steamboat Ladies’ (1904-1097), tells the story of a group of more than 700 women who travelled by a steamboat ferry to obtain degrees at a time when their own universities withheld graduation from female students.

Founded by CEO Ben Weprin in 2014, Graduate Hotels currently has 30 U.S. locations in addition to the two new U.K. properties. Owned by Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners, Graduate Hotels’ properties in Oxford and Camdbridge join AJ Capital’s growing portfolio of hotels throughout the U.K. AJ Capital additionally owns and operates Marine & Lawn, a collection of bespoke hotels in the world’s most distinguished golfing destinations. The inaugural properties recently launched with Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland and Marine North Berwick in North Berwick, Scotland, and will be followed by Marine Troon in Troon, Scotland.

Main image credit: Graduate Hotels

Virtual roundtable - ethical lighting solutions

Virtual roundtable: Ethical lighting solutions

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Ethical lighting solutions

With the aim to put ethical lighting – and not just sustainability – under the spotlight, Hotel Designs’ latest virtual roundtable welcomes Chris Stimson, Founder of lighting brand Well-Lit, and a handful of leading designers and lighting experts to explore ethical product design. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Virtual roundtable - ethical lighting solutions

For years now, the buzzword that is ‘sustainability’ has been a constant tone; a consistent and unavoidable noise ringing in the ears of every designer, architect and hospitality professional – like tinnitus. Despite the topic remaining important and in its infancy regarding us seeing real change, in order to really clean up our act when it comes to designing consciously, it is not the only subject we need to consider and, if needs be, expose.

To really one day achieve a totally ethical arena for designers, architects and hotel professionals – we live in hope here on the editorial desk – we must also place product design under the spotlight. To do this, designers must not be afraid to question how raw materials are sourced as well as how each element of the product they are specifying is made. But how do we, as an industry, realistically achieve this when deadlines become tighter, briefs become narrower and so many other details need to be addressed on a project?

In addition to advising designers to specify responsibly, after moderating the below roundtable discussion, I no longer believe it is acceptable for brands to be ignorant on how their products are being made. The reason why I say this is because the consequences of such naivety, which emerge thousands of miles away from the first-world problems we face in the western world, can be (and are) unequivocally devastating.

Image caption: Susan Lake's lighting design, sheltered inside Yotel Edinburgh. | Image credit: Yotel Hotels

Image caption: Susan Lake’s lighting design, sheltered inside Yotel Edinburgh. | Image credit: Yotel Hotels

Many brands, both large and small, that currently manufacture their products in Asia are (knowingly or not) fuelling modern slavery. One man who has seen the human cost of unethical manufacturing is Chris Stimson, Founder of lighting brand Well-Lit, who inspired the topic of our Hotel Designs next roundtable.

To panoramically explore ethical lighting solutions with might and purpose, we invited Stimson, along with a handful of designers and lighting experts, to discuss just how bad the problem currently is.

On the panel:

Hamish Kilburn: Chris, why is ethical lighting so high up on your agenda? 

Chris Stimson: It’s based on my own experience. Previously I was based in China, and worked as a sourcing agent for western brands that were looking for manufacturers. Before LED bulbs for domestic homes were known, I was watching the research, travelling to trade shows and meeting the people who were developing the technology. I successfully connected the manufacturers with brands – and that went well for about two years.

Then in 2010, there was a dramatic shift in the market as mass production entered, and the price of LEDs and what manufacturers could achieve fell. I was literally told over night to halve my prices or I would be out of a job. It was during that time when I witnessed things that rocked me to my core; I saw things that could not be unseen. Over the period of just six months I realised I facilitated it. I was part of the problem, so I decided that I was in a position to do better. And this is how we started the lighting brand Well-Lit.

Well-lit light bulbs

Image caption: Well-Lit are one of the few lighting brands that is actively ensuring that the manufacturing process to make its products and components is ethical.

HK: As lighting experts and designers, how aware are you all about non-ethical practices when it comes to manufacturing?

Charlotte Flynn: I’ll be honest, before we had an introduction with Well-lit, we were not aware of the unethical side of lighting manufacturing. It really was new to us. At least knowing that brands, such as Well-Lit, were willing to bring this forward was comforting, but it was also pretty unnerving to think that, despite working with brands who claim to be ethical and sustainable, we actually had no idea just how bad the situation was. The reality is that many designers are unknowingly specifying products that have been made in barbaric conditions.

Metehan Apak: As designers, I think we have all noticed prices of products come down as demand rises. What cannot be ignored are the demands among modern travellers for sustainable design and hospitality. As a result, our clients are getting on board with our thinking to source sustainable and ethical products.

Arianne Ghezzi: We do pay close attention to the suppliers we are working with. There are a few items that we really care about when specifying and that’s usually around what happens in the background. Clients start coming on board when they realise that these ethical decisions often end up saving money when it comes to running costs. More and more, I have seen, that clients are also asking about the lifecycle of products and the recycling qualities of each product.

I also think that manufacturing tours are very usable for designers to understand how components are made and put together.

Image caption: Ennismore recently set new standards to only work with brands that can prove their ethical value. | Image credit: The Hoxton Paris

Image caption: Ennismore recently set new standards to only work with brands that can prove their ethical value. | Image credit: The Hoxton Paris

HK: I can imagine, though, it is very difficult for designers who are working towards a brief for a space to be aesthetically pleasing while also remaining on budget and for the materials to be sourced ethically. Realistically, can all three demands be met?

Susan Lake: It’s a very difficult tightrope that as designers we have to walk. We have to think about the larger picture but we also have to consider the budget, time and aesthetics. It’s reassuring to see that there are brands out there that do source and manufacture responsibly. Equally, it is our responsibility to really demand these credentials when we are specifying products. When it comes to ethics, though, to produce in an ethical way will naturally result in the prices going up.

HK: How do you qualify what is ethical – and what is the human and social cost of unethically made lighting?

CS: The situation around fast fashion really brought awareness to other industries. Even Apple – one of the world’s most recognised brands in the world – has huge problems with their manufacturing in Asia. For example, the brand launched a huge campaign about ethics and manufacturing. Well, on the day they released their press statement, a video emerged showing footage from inside a Chinese factory where the manager was throwing workers’ name badges on the floor for them to pick up at the start of their shifts. It’s incredibly difficult and if a brand like Apple is struggling then you can imagine how challenging it is for everyone else.

“It’s almost like ‘made in China’ is a dirty phrase. And it usually is, but it doesn’t have to be. – Chris Stimson, Founder, Well-Lit.

Image caption: Public areas inside Hotel Zeppelin, designed by Dawson Design Associates. | Image credit: Viceroy Hotels

Image caption: Public areas inside Hotel Zeppelin, designed by Dawson Design Associates. | Image credit: Viceroy Hotels

In terms of my own experience and what I have witnessed, the social and human cost of manufacturing [unethically] in my industry is devastating. I am seeing migrants working hundreds of miles away from their families for very low pay – sometimes even refused pay. The working and living conditions in and around these factories can be disgusting and dangerous. They are being made to work inhumane hours and their jobs are threatened on a daily basis because they can be easily replaced. I have seen what that can do so someone’s physical and mental health and it is disturbing. It destroys people, and yet it still doesn’t get spoken about.

For a lot of brands, it’s almost like ‘made in China’ is a dirty phrase. And it usually is, but it doesn’t have to be. My beliefs are that we all live on the same planet and we should be treated equally. It is as important to discuss ethical sourcing as it is to highlight sustainability and carbon emissions.

“Sustainability seems to be the key word in the briefs but trying to find out information on how the products are manufactured and the conditions of the factories is very difficult.” – Glenn Campion, Partner, LAPD

Image caption: LADP Lighting Design's simple yet dramatic lighting scheme inside The Loft Restaurant. | Image credit: The Loft Restaurant

Image caption: LADP Lighting Design’s simple yet dramatic lighting scheme inside The Loft Restaurant. | Image credit: The Loft Restaurant

HK: In your experiences, are you being told the truth when brands tell you about their ethical credentials?  

Glen Campion: Finding and measuring metrics and data on the ethical standards of manufacturers is nigh on impossible. It’s not something that is published. Sustainability seems to be the key word in the briefs but trying to find out information on how the products are manufactured and the conditions of the factories is very difficult. I think there is a lack of accreditations. The only one I am aware of is the Green Alliance but I know that doesn’t cover everything, so there is a long way to go.

CS: That’s really important because there are no accreditations out there that define exactly what an ethical brand is. I can set up a brand tomorrow and convince a lot of people that we are doing everything the right way and it would simply not be true. The only time in my career that an organisation has really challenged me on what we do was when The Observer  were considering us for ‘ethical product of the decade’ in their ethical awards. They asked deep questions and requested evidence.

For designers, it is almost impossible to know if you are purchasing sustainable or ethically made products, it really is!

“It is impossible to find out in certain regions. We have tried, for years, and we can source about 85 per cent of our raw materials and then there is just a hole. – Chris Stimson, Founder, Well-Lit.

HK: It seems that price is a pretty good indicator then. How much more expensive are ethically sourced lighting products?

CS: When we designed the business, we asked how we could create an ethical product. We had to be a profitable, sustainable and ethical enterprise. By truly doing this, it became clear that there was no way we could afford large-scale PR or a large offices and teams in London. In fact, in 12 years, we have spent about £12,000 on marketing because every penny we have has to go into the design of the product.

What’s more is that we need to present our products at competitive prices to our competitors otherwise we are out of the game. The challenges of running a business like ours is extraordinary when competing against the large brands with deep marketing pockets.

Two big bulbs in lighting scheme for a bar

Image credit: Well-Lit

Glen was talking about supply chains and where raw materials come from. The truth is that it is impossible to find out in certain regions. We have tried, for years, and we can source about 85 per cent of our raw materials and then there is just a hole. Therefore, we cannot promote ourselves as a completely sustainable business – but we try everything we can to be as ethical and sustainable as possible, while being ahead of the technology curve when it comes to lighting innovation.

I also don’t think you can be a sustainable business without being an ethical business. The real sustainability crime is the sheer amount of the low quality, often broken, bulbs that we shipped from China to the western world. If you think about the carbon footprint of these products that end up faulty and subsequently replaced with another bulb that has done the same journey, it’s not an ethical solution.

We make everything by hand, and that gives us such a low failure rate. Yes, we suffer on the cost of that but there really is no other way for us to produce those products ethically.

HK: Charlotte, how have your conversations changed with other brands since learning about what Well-Lit does?

CF: When it comes to the supply chain of products, we have an in-house sustainability focus group. We set up a schedule and there are questionnaires sent out to our recommended suppliers about their supply chain of materials. And yes, we have seen the same, we manage to trace back materials half way and then it descends into a black hole. With lighting, Chris was the first to put this on our radar. We actually only work with Well-Lit at the moment because of our shared ethos around ethical sourcing.

Obviously, we do have the benefit of being in-house so we are able to make those pledges and they are transparently communicated and understood among the whole team here. However, I believe we can set a tone for the industry to follow. It’s been really key to ensure that this, sustainability and conscious sourcing, is within our brand standards at Ennismore.

HK: Why is more lighting not manufactured in the UK?  

SL: It really does depend project by project. Some clients, depending on their clientele and demographic, are more focused on ethics and environment than others. Those clients are willing to pay more for the products. It is easier to trace back materials when the products have been made in the UK, but it is tough because all businesses need to think about their profitability.

HK: Please tell me that brands can ethically manufacturer products abroad as well…

CS: Yes, it can be done – our brand uses very good factories in China while also manufacturing in the UK. There are certain items that you simply cannot manufacture in the UK, such as bulbs, while also retaining a price point that anyone would touch. One of the things that gets missed out in topics like these is that there are brilliant crafts people in Asia who are doing brilliant things. In terms of both technology and the governmental support given to these creatives, they are some of the best people in the world and yet their reputation is being tainted by the result of greed and poor quality mass production of products.

In terms of being able to manufacture in China, there is a lot of trust that come into it. There are just two or three factories that I would use because of genuine shared values when it comes to the manufacturing process and human ethical standards. The most important element for us is that the workers are passionate and buy into the products they are producing. If they are benefiting from the products they are creating, then they will produce better quality products. This ultimately results in a product that has more longevity.

HK: How has this situation become so out of control?

CS: In my experience, most LED bulb brands do not know what is happening. It’s not always that these companies don’t want to know but it’s more that they just assume everything is happening the way they think it is. The sourcing process for most companies is to meet suppliers while travelling to trade shows, perhaps stay on to visit a factory where samples can be made and prices can be agreed. They might do a factory inspection but a lot can be hidden and this process, in my experience, can be highly manipulated and deceptive.

HK: What can designers do to make the industry more ethical?

CS: Ask difficult questions and demand hard evidence. For suppliers, these questions should be directed towards the factories they are working with. Suppliers should know about the living and working conditions of the workers who are in these factories.

GC: I’ll be honest, when it comes to specifying, over the last 10 years the decisions from clients have been driven by cost. The choices on the lighting projects I have been involved in are around supply costs. There are so many components in lighting schemes that need to be measured and presented, so weighing them up against another product that is ethically sourced is not often asked for. It would be great, however, to promote ethical sourcing and really help to educate the industry on the effects of unethical manufacturing.

HK: I think you’re right, the more companies that put forward good, solid evidence around ethical production of products, the more the industry will naturally demand this being an essential. Ultimately, if all suppliers looked deep into their supply chain and if all designers were more inquisitive about the products they are supplying then the healthier the industry will become on a global scale.

Main image credit: Hotel Designs

Accor hotel room on top of mountain

The sky is the limit: Germany’s highest hotel room

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The sky is the limit: Germany’s highest hotel room

Accor, in a bid to raise awareness of its ALL – Accor Live Limitless campaign, has installed a glass box that contains a fully-furnished hotel room on the top of Germany’s highest mountain. But you can’t stay here (not yet anyway)…

Accor hotel room on top of mountain

Calling all stargazers, Accor has recently unveiled an entire hotel room at the top of the Zugspitzplatt, the highest mountain in Germany. But not so fast, it’s not actually possible (yet) to spend the night here without trespassing. Instead, the installation has been created to highlight the brand’s ALL – Accor Live Limitless campaign. Still, it’s a pretty interesting hotel concept that the editorial team at Hotel Designs identified recently.

Travellers who who make their way up to the glass construction will, as a result, be rewarded as an ALL newcomer with 500 points on their personal ALL account, redeemable at their next stay in one of Accor’s hotels.

The interior design scheme inside the glass structure includes real hotel furniture that comes from the Accor brand Novotel, with which the hotel group started more than 50 years ago. 

Many are now calling for the hotel group to actually make this installation a real-life experience, but only time will tell whether or not sleeping under the stars at altitude will become the next unparalleled travel trend.

Main image credit: Accor

citizenM paris champs elysees

citizenM opens hotel on Champs-Élysées in Paris

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
citizenM opens hotel on Champs-Élysées in Paris

Talk about changing  up the narrative… the street of traditional luxury gets a french kiss from affordable luxury – citizenM Paris Champs-Élysées, designed by Concrete Amsterdam, becomes the brand’s fourth hotel in the City of Light…

The multi-award winning, Dutch hotel-and-lifestyle brand citizenM is returning to Paris to open its fourth hotel – on one of the world’s most famous avenues. 

citizenM paris champs elysees

From September 2021, citizenM Paris Champs-Élysées joins its three sister hotels in the French capital – making it the first city with a quartet of citizenM hotels . Overall, this is citizenM’s 15th hotel in Europe – and 23rd globally – since 2008.

citizenM Paris Champs-Élysées, the hotel brand’s 15th property to open in Europe, stays true to the brand’s promise of ‘affordable luxury for the people’ – serving it up, as usual, in a triple-A well-connected location. This one is centered almost precisely between Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. On the doorstep: luxury shopping and dining on Avenue de Champs-Élysées, two metro stations, Galeries Lafayette, Grand Palais, Petit Palais, countless restaurants and boutiques, and much more. The location is ideal for tourists and business travellers visiting Paris for both short and long stays. 

a blue sofa and red furniture inside citizenm in Paris

Image credit: citizenM

Over approximately two years, the existing 1970s building on Rue la Boétie had been redesigned and converted into a modern 151-room citizenM hotel, with the help of long-time collaborators and architects Concrete Amsterdam, who took part in Hotel Designs LIVE this year. Approximately a quarter of the rooms on the front facade have a view of Rue la Boétie and a slice of Avenue de Champs-Élysées. The rest of the rooms are arranged in a U-shape around a peaceful ground-floor courtyard with greenery and comfortable outdoor seating. 

To get to the rooms, guests enter via a designer living room – citizenM’s signature space and everyone’s favourite hangout – passing a commissioned wall mural by Lucky Left Hand (French artist Steven Burke) on their way. In the living room itself, a spectacular Golden Age wallpaper by Ai Wei Wei will undoubtedly become one of the most photographed art pieces. It is best contemplated from one of the many cosy and colourful Vitra couches and chairs. Other notable art pieces in the living room include ‘Tauros’ by Sarah Morris, a lightbox by JR (Jean René), photo print by Frank Horvat, and Andy Warhol’s ‘Flowers’, as well as hand-picked pieces by Thomas Raat, Christophe Bucklow, David Salle and Jordan Wolfson, courtesy of the citizenM collection, which belongs to citizenM Executive Chairman Rattan Chadha.

For that ‘just like home’ feeling, the living room has space for working and relaxing, hundreds of books, interesting objects, and a 24/7 kitchen in the centre. Known as canteenM, it serves 24/7 food, drinks and snacks – nearly all locally sourced – hot à la carte meals, craft cocktails and delicious coffee. The indoor canteenM bar/dining area expands onto the aforementioned inner courtyard with Parisian-style furniture. 

When creating a new hotel, citizenM likes to include an element of surprise to keep all returning guests delighted. This way, the ‘affordable luxury’ experience is consistent around the world, but with a unique attraction at every location. citizenM Paris Champs-Élysées is the first-ever hotel with three outdoor spaces – the courtyard on ground level, the canteenM terrace, and an enchanting cloudM rooftop bar with a fresh, casual vibe. This spectacular park-style bar on top of the Champs-Élysées will serve a menu of delicious finger food, snacks, and bottled drinks (a variety of refreshing wine, beer, soda and spritzes). The cloudM bar – featuring views of the Eiffel Tower – will be open to the public, available for private hire, and stylishly furnished by Vitra.

Upstairs, 151 rooms are designed especially to fit the existing building – and for ultimate relaxation. The most important things – the XL king-size bed, jungle-like shower, and entertainment – are all optimised for comfort, luxury and ease of use. Superfast Wi-Fi is always free, and the entire room ambiance (from lights and blinds to the temperature and TV) is controlled by the free citizenM app, or the MoodPad tablet. 

For room art, citizenM hand-picked three French female artists – Marie Guillard, Elvire Caillon and Melodie Bachet – in collaboration with Starter, a creative agency run by Parisiennes Aurelie Dablanc and Anne-Marine Guiberteau. In every city it calls home, citizenM seeks out local artists to collaborate with and highlight their talent. 

White contemporary bedroom

Image credit: citizenM

For the final touch to the true citizenM experience, the hotel ambassadors make the whole world feel at home. Every one of them is empowered to do what’s right for the guests, and prepared to take on any role – barista, concierge, housekeeping or receptionist. At citizenM, guests who need attention are never sent to ‘speak to someone else’, but instead receive genuine warmth and attention – deservedly noted in the many positive online reviews. 

citizenM Paris Champs-Élysées hotel is open for bookings from September 2021. Together with the existing three locations – at Gare de Lyon, La Défense and Charles de Gaulle Airport – the quartet of Parisian citizenM hotels fulfills the needs of every visitor seeking affordable luxury in the City of Light.

Main image credit: citizenM

Roca tap

Product watch: Roca introduces new colours to brassware collections

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Roca introduces new colours to brassware collections

Bathroom brand Roca continues to innovate with its brassware portfolio thanks to the introduction of two new finishes to its stunning Insignia and Naia ranges. Complete with Everlux finish, the two new additions are now available in on-trend rose gold and brushed titanium black – the perfect finishing touch for any bathroom in an era where colour is king (or queen)… 

Roca tap

The sleek, modern design of both the Insignia and Naia brassware by Roca already makes them a popular choice among designers, however with the introduction of two new colours, the possibilities are now pretty much endless. The addition of the rose gold adds a pop of subtlety – think chic colour – whereas the brushed titanium black adds a touch of sophistication and contemporary, industrial style.

With a square handle and a round body, Naia has a minimalist design, with a perfect combination of cylindrical and square geometric shapes to complement a variety of bathroom decors. It is available in a range of heights to suit a variety of basin styles including vanity, in-countertop and on-countertop.

With its soft profile and slim side handle, Insignia features gently curved lines and a sleek, elegant aesthetic. Insignia is a modern, single-lever brassware collection, that’s ideal for bathrooms with a clear urban design.

Both ranges feature Roca’s Cold Start technology to ensure the flow starts with cold water and hot water systems are only activated when the handle is turned to the left. This not only saves CO2, but also reduces consumers’ energy bills. Naia and Insignia are available in a variety of basin (different heights available), bidet and shower mixers, along with matching bath fillers.

David Bromell, Head of Marketing at Roca comments: “The extensive Roca brassware portfolio continues to evolve with innovative designs and contemporary finishes, providing a broad range of solutions, but with homogenised commitment to quality, functionality and environmental responsibility. The addition of these two new coloured finishes, further enhances our existing collections with an on-trend yet enduring design, that appeals to a wide market.”

The Insignia and Naia brassware collections also come with Roca’s innovative Everlux finish – a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating which has excellent durability as well as being resistant to scratches and impacts.

The sophisticated Everlux finish is obtained by the innovative physical vapor deposition (PVD) process via the ionization of metals and noble gases, which are combined to create a fine metallic coating. This coating, based on extremely hard metals such as titanium or zirconium, is uniformly deposited over Roca’s high-quality galvanized chrome plating, resulting in a surface with extreme hardness and extraordinary resistance to scratches, impacts and cleaning agents. Through this process, Roca has been able to offer multiple combinations in the creation of sophisticated and highly resistant bathroom spaces.

Roca is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Roca

Lobby/lounge inside Pan Pacific London

Pan Pacific London – a new luxury wellness hotel is born

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Pan Pacific London – a new luxury wellness hotel is born

There is no doubt that Pan Pacific London was one of the most hotly anticipated hotel openings in London in 2021. With the hotel now open, following a spectacular opening party, it’s time to experience what luxury and wellness at new heights really feels like… 

Lobby/lounge inside Pan Pacific London

Following what has been a hard-hitting few years for the hospitality and tourism industry, it’s refreshing to finally see new hotels – properties we have been drawling over since their concept phases were unveiled – are starting to emerge in the ever-so-congested London hotel arena. Pan Pacific London was one of those hotels. In an interview with its architect, Mark Kelly from PLP Architecture, we learned the need for flexibility in today’s era of design and hospitality. “Architecture is an inherently flexible process – always evolving while constantly questioning and reinventing itself,” he said when discussing architecture’s role post-pandemic. “As such, it is well placed to respond to the current and seemingly ever-changing Covid crisis and, for that matter, other current and future global concerns such as the climate emergency.”

Pan Pacific London is a fine example of a new hotel that was, prior to the Covid-19 crisis, already planning to take wellness in luxury into a new era. However, after hospitality’s months and months of forced hibernation, this hotel opens with a greater meaning and purpose for the wider luxury hotel landscape. This haven in the heart of the city fuses together architecture, contemporary design, boundary-pushing wellbeing, and leading destination restaurants and bars, with sincere Singaporean hospitality to create a lifestyle destination in London.

Located in Liverpool Street, Pan Pacific London is on the doorstep of world-renowned locations yet also home to its own inner world. Sitting proudly in the landmark tower at One Bishopsgate Plaza, the hotel is situated near many of the city’s finest attractions including high-end shopping in Spitalfields, the Barbican cultural hub, and the stylish Shoreditch neighbourhood.

What to expect inside

Setting the tone immediately upon arrival, the lobby is minimalist with earthy and warm tones creating a modern and paired back home-from-home scene. Accents of colour and personality, however, come from carefully placed plants that were provided by biophilic design experts at Leaflike. “This is one of the most rewarding projects we have worked on because of the alignment between our businesses regarding sustainability,” Brandon Abernethie, Head of Design at Leaflike told Hotel Designs.We cannot wait to help more hoteliers achieve their goals.”

A minimalist lobby with plants

Image credit: Jack Hardy

The hotel has been created by esteemed design duo Yabu Pushelberg, who bring their signature style to the hotel sparked by the fusion of south-east Asian vibrancy and the refined elegance of traditional British design. A unique sanctuary in the middle of The City of London, modern lines and artistic flair run throughout the hotel’s public spaces whilst guest rooms offer a sense of peace and calm with curved walls and neutral colour palettes.

Led by a team of seasoned industry veterans, Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s acclaimed attention to detail and a proactive approach to environmental sustainability and wellness can be seen in the 237 guestrooms and suites which offer some of London’s finest accommodation. The signature Pan Pacific Suite, for example, perched on the 19th floor, is the essence of luxury with spectacular views of city landmark, The Gherkin. 

The guestrooms have been designed as retreats from the bustling city and feature a lighter colour palette offering peace and tranquillity to the private spaces while the omission of 90-degree angles in bedrooms and washrooms creates a gentle embrace where guests can seek rest and comfort.

Custom headboards act as personalised art pieces, adding a layer of calm through the depiction of oak, elder, elm and maple trees while accessories introduce small bursts of colour and organic forms to reinforce the tonal and tranquil nature of each guestroom. 

A guestroom with neutral tones

Image credit: Jack Hardy

For ultimate wellbeing, an innovative ChiliSleep™ Ooler Sleep Cooling System to aid better sleep via temperature regulation is available upon request, and rooms come complete with yoga mats and on demand virtual yoga sessions, as well as health-benefiting botanical planting.

Integrating fitness, nutrition, treatments and mindfulness, the hotel is one of the first in London to include an impressive 1,083m² floor dedicated to holistic wellness, featuring an 18.5m infinity pool and the latest equipment from TecnoBody®, including the D-Wall and conditioning gym, making it one of the most technologically advanced facilities showcased by any hotel gym in the UK.

In addition to high-performance training, aqua fitness in the hotel’s infinity pool is a unique addition to the wellbeing floor, along with mindful workshops and sustainable nutrition. Spa treatments infuse Western science and clinical research with South East Asian tradition of clean beauty focusing on result-driven relaxation techniques, pregnancy treatments, and personal grooming rituals.

The F&B offering at Pan Pacific London is unparalleled, with each of its five venues incorporating unique elements of the flavour, diversity and elegance of modern Singapore. Led by multi award-winning Executive Chef Lorraine Sinclair and renowned Executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden, the hotel’s Straits Kitchen restaurant, Ginger Lily bar and The Orchid Lounge drawing room delights guests with new and innovative flavours. The team are working closely with British producers, Nurtured in Norfolk, to grow their own high quality Asian ingredients as well as sourcing local produce to help minimise the carbon footprint whilst bringing authentic flavours to the table.

Pan Pacific London offers a serene haven away from the hustle and bustle, with every element carefully crafted and tailored to offer one of London’s most complete contemporary and luxury hotel experiences. The panelled wood screens which wrap the ground floor reception have been carried up and throughout the wellbeing floor to create continuity. Tall ceilings lend an inviting feel to the space whilst the spectacular poolside fireplace and sofas create a homely feeling making guests want to relax and linger.

Located at the top of the lobby’s spiral staircase, Straits Kitchen is an ode to Southeast Asia both through design and cuisine. Embracing a respectful approach to cooking inspired by heritage recipes, the menu at Straits Kitchen has been carefully crafted by the hotel’s Executive Chef Lorraine Sinclair working alongside Singaporean Group Executive Chef Tony Khoo and showcases the melting pot of cuisines represented in multicultural Singapore. Quirky, bold and bright, Straits Kitchen stands as a gem of the hotel, featuring two private dining spaces, custom dining tables and a custom wine-cabinet-as-art. Custom murals have been brought to life by En Viu which further enforce the restaurant’s Eastern influence, depicting Asian botanicals mirroring the unique flavours on the menu. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer guests unparalleled views of The City.

Located on the first floor, The Orchid Lounge offers a uniquely sumptuous and serene Afternoon Tea from award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden. Cherish brings her unique flair for Asian flavours to the traditional British tea with the Singaporean-inspired Kopi Tiam, celebrating bao, dim sum and choux. 

In addition to superb dining and dynamically designed guestrooms and suites, Pan Pacific London includes the most technologically advanced and largest ballroom in the area, accommodating up to 400 guests. The hotel also features an Event Emporium alongside a further nine innovative and flexible meeting and events venues, with a dedicated in-house events management team plus state-of-the-art technology, superfast WiFi and 5G receivers.

The extensive 464sqm smart Pacific Ballroom has direct access from Bishopsgate Plaza via a glass escalator and elevator as well as direct access via the hotel. A custom Lasvit chandelier designed by Yabu Pushelberg hangs sumptuously above the expansive ballroom and is composed of floating crystal orbs creating a starry night’s sky under which any occasion may be celebrated.

Main image credit: Jack Hardy

hansgrohe FinishPlus

FinishPlus by hansgrohe – unique in every sense of the word

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FinishPlus by hansgrohe – unique in every sense of the word

Bathroom design is all about personal style, and thanks to FinishPlus by hansgrohe it is even easier for designers to create a unique bathroom design scheme. Offering more choice, these finishes allow for complete customisation in the bathroom, regardless of size…

hansgrohe FinishPlus

With five distinctive finishes to choose from, FinishPlus by hansgrohe enables a variety of design options which enhance the bathroom style. The range covers everything, from matt black to matt white, brushed bronze and even the elegance of polished gold.

All FinishPlus surfaces offer exceptional robustness, durability and scratch-resistance; the result of the exhaustive research and development of the wider Hansgrohe Group.

What’s more, having investing significantly into its manufacturing facilities, FinishPLus products are now available on a short lead time. Saving both money and time, this gives installers peace of mind form the inception of the project, working to tight deadlines and schedules.

FinishPlus is now available in several hansgrohe ranges, from the understated geometric design of Metropol to the softly tapered Talis E. Both ranges offer handles and spouts in numerous height options so that customers have maximum freedom to tailor their wash basin, shower and bathtub area. To create harmony throughout the bathroom, the effect of these vibrant shades is also available across the showering and accessories ranges. Many of these projects are also available as EcoSmart alternatives, which means they not only save water, but also save energy and running costs.

As well as being a Recommended Supplier, hansgrohe is an Event Partner for The Brit List Awards 2021. The winners will be announced on November 3 at PROUD Embankment.

Main image credit: hansgrohe

Image of a guestroom inside The Londoner

NOW OPEN: The Londoner – let’s take a look inside

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NOW OPEN: The Londoner – let’s take a look inside

The much-anticipated, first-of-its-kind, “super boutique hotel”, The Londoner, has officially opened its doors in the heart of London’s iconic Leicester Square. Costing a whopping £500m, will the new luxury hotel take the tourist trap of a piazza into a new, more refined era? Editor Hamish Kilburn poked his head through the door to find out…

Image of a guestroom inside The Londoner

Following years of speculation and rumours around exactly what the hospitality experience would be like inside, The Londoner has opened – and with it, we hope, it will take the worn-down and tired Leicester Square into a new era of luxury, while also shining as a wonderful example that luxury is not an excuse not to be sustainable, from architecture to hospitality sheltered inside.

The Lobby at The Londoner hotel

Image credit: Andrew Beasley

From one of the UK’s largest family-owned hotel groups, Edwardian Hotels London, the hotel is the latest launch set to astound both Londoners and International guests with a staggering 350 guestrooms spread across 16 storeys and a subterranean series of spaces, creating one of the deepest habitable basements in the world. And yet, despite its size, the hotel, thanks to its intuitive design, still feels warmly intimate. 

Designed in collaboration with world-renowned architectural designers Yabu Pushelberg, the opening marks a bold and pivotal moment in the return and scale of global hospitality, and an exciting ‘re-birth for Leicester Square’.

Known as the ‘luxury urban resort’, The Londoner shelters a variety of rooms, suites, penthouses, two private screening rooms, an exclusive 24-hour residents’ space, an entire floor dedicated to wellness, expansive ballroom, private art gallery, wealth of meeting places, and a mix of several concept eateries. This includes the hotel’s signature Mediterranean restaurant, Whitcomb’s, plus a contemporary Japanese lounge bar with a rooftop terrace and fire pit named 8. To ensure there is something for everyone, the hotel even has its own neighbourhood bar, Joshua’s Tavern.

Whilst super in scale, the hotel’s boutique approach and commitment to hospitality offers the highest levels of luxury with an experience designed to make every guest feel at home. As a brand-new opening in London, it is also important to note that The Londoner has employed pioneering methods of sustainable luxury, which exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

Watch this space… full review coming soon.

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

TheHague_3

Cove by edyn to arrive in The Hague in 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Cove by edyn to arrive in The Hague in 2022

Hospitality group edyn continues the rapid expansion of its serviced apartment brand Cove into Europe with a new acquisition in The Hague. Here’s what we know…

TheHague_3

Extended stay hospitality leaders edyn has announced the acquisition of a new asset in The Hague, which will become the first opening of its recently-launched serviced apartment brand, Cove, in mainland Europe.

The asset will be converted into 121 serviced apartments, which will open in March 2022. The project will comprise a combination of studio and open plan one-bedroom apartments with fully fitted kitchens and will benefit from an updated design scheme throughout, representative of Cove’s contemporary sophisticated aesthetic. The building will also include 250sqm of lobby, lounge, and co-working area, providing informal workspace for groups or individuals.

Located on Grote Marktstraat, one of The Hague’s most important shopping districts, ‘Cove – Centrum’ will serve a base of corporate clients, as well as leisure travellers and families seeking more spacious, comfortable accommodation. Set in the iconic ‘De Passage’ building, designed by architect Bernard Tschumi which opened in 2014, the serviced apartments will also benefit from extensive local shopping and dining options.

The acquisition of ‘Cove – Centrum’ follows the recently announced ‘Cove – Landmark Pinnacle’; a £62.5m acquisition in London’s Landmark Pinnacle development in Canary Wharf, which is scheduled to open in November this year.

“The signing of ‘Cove – Centrum’ marks a milestone in the growth trajectory of the brand, which we are excited to expand into mainland Europe just two months after launch,” said Steven Haag, Managing Director of Cove. “Not only does this signal our intent on the continent, but it also is our first conversion of an existing hotel to serviced apartments which we feel is an increasingly likely path for growth.

“Flexible, thoughtfully designed accommodation that caters to both long and short stays has never been more in-demand, and the brand’s rapid expansion into Europe signals its relevance and appeal to investors, owners and travellers alike.”

JLL acted as advisor to to seller in this transaction, and more information about the new property is expected to emerge soon.

Main image credit: edyn 

Hamilton Wide Rocker Switch

Product watch: Hamilton launches new ‘Gray’ plate finishes

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Hamilton launches new ‘Gray’ plate finishes

Hamilton Litestat, an event partner for The Brit List Awards 2021, will showcase the breadth of its decorative wiring solutions for the hotel sector at the Independent Hotel Show, on October 4 – 5,  2021 at Olympia London. This will include the new ‘Gray’ plate finishes and USB-A&C charging devices…

Hamilton Wide Rocker Switch

On Stand 1464, the British brand Hamilton Litestat will display its latest on-trend metallic finishes, its vast design and finish capabilities, as well as solutions that deliver the functionality guests are demanding in today’s highly connected world.

New standout finishes

Hamilton’s latest on-trend ‘Gray’ finishes will be showcased at the Independent Hotel Show – Basalt Gray and Anthra Gray.  Inspired by Italian design trends, Basalt provides a teasing refractive aesthetic – grey base with a neutral cast and subtle bronze hue provides a warm, nature-inspired finish. Meanwhile, Anthra Gray, with a subtle granular finish, oozes volcanic strength and natural sophistication. Visitors to the show can collect free samples of the new finishes at Hamilton’s Stand, No. 1464.

Hamilton's new Basalt Gray finish

Image caption: Hamilton’s new Basalt Gray finish

Additionally, a new insert finish has also been added to Hamilton’s popular Hartland range, which will also be on display. Alongside Black and White inserts, a new Quartz Grey finish has been added to Hamilton’s insert options.

USB-A and USB-C – rapidly recharge

Now a guestroom necessity, Hamilton’s latest solutions to rapidly recharge smart devices while your guests relax and recharge themselves will also be on show. Available in 11 finishes and four sleek and stylish designs, Hamilton’s combined 2.4A USB-A and USB-C dual switched sockets make them ideal for the latest devices as well as legacy smart phones and tablets. While USB-A offers charging of up to 2.5W, USB-C facilitates extremely fast data transfer of up to 10 Gbps and power transfer of 100W for speedy charging. This solution is perfectly placed either side of beds for guest convenience.

Hamilton also offers a 18W USB-A and 45W USB-C Euro Module that delivers a superior rate of charge for high-capacity devices including the new MacBook Pro and iPad Pro. Ideally suited to positions at the desk area of a suite, the Euro Module can be fitted within a single plate or combined with other functional solutions within a multi-part bespoke plate. Supporting both legacy and long-term charging requirements, the Euro Module is in high guest demand and is a standout strength in Hamilton’s vast portfolio of products.

Wide Rocker – classic with a twist

Inspired by design trends in the Asian market and making a big impact in the hotel sector to welcome international guests, Hamilton’s Wide Rocker Switches will again be on show. The on-trend design is available in five Linea CFX collections, as well as Hartland CFX and Sheer CFX, and can be supplied in a range of finishes, including popular bronze and brass finishes. With 1, 2 and 3-gang switch configurations available, as well as 1-gang Push-To-Make (PTM), Double Pole and Intermediate Wide Rockers, these switches provide a functional solution with a stylish contemporary design twist.

Made to order

As a British family-run company, Hamilton has its headquarters in Bristol and it’s from here that it offers its bespoke service. It has the capability to cost-effectively produce custom-made plates to support customer requirements, including low volume requests. Configurations particularly suited to the hotel sector could include a plate featuring a Euro Module, Schuko Socket, American Socket, and double switched socket.

As well as offering bespoke functionality, Hamilton offers bespoke plate finishes courtesy of its Paintable service. Switch plates and sockets can be powder coated to match RAL, British Standards or Natural Colour System references, ensuring that they perfectly match a wall design scheme, soft furnishings, or other design details. This hassle-free service is even offered on low volume orders, with Hamilton having increased its capacity due to the service’s popularity.

Perception CFX – distraction-free design

For hotels featuring bold statement wallpaper or mural walls, Hamilton’s Perception CFX is the ideal transparent wiring solution. The switch plates and sockets have concealed fixings and a clear snap-on front plate that houses an insert of a chosen wall covering, making them almost imperceptible. Seamlessly matching the wall covering pattern, they allow the room’s décor to sing and make an impact on the guest without distraction.

Hamilton Litestat, which will be on Stand 1464 at the Independent Hotel Show, is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Hamilton Litestat (Wide Rocker Switches)

Hotel Designs LIVE: Social Spaces

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Social spaces in 2021 & beyond

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Social spaces in 2021 & beyond

The fifth edition of Hotel Designs LIVE was sponsored and broadcasted from the Minotti London showroom. The virtual event for the design, architecture and hospitality industry was rounded off with an engaging panel discussion with leading designers and developers that explored the future of social spaces – from arrival experiences to lobby lounges and F&B hospitality…

Hotel Designs LIVE: Social Spaces

With all the noise around ‘social distancing’ and regulations against human interaction, many of industry’s leaders believe that tomorrow’s hotel scene will be a celebration of human connection. While we are at the T-junction on the road out of Covid-19 lockdowns, editor Hamish Kilburn invited world-renowned designers and hospitality experts to understand challenges and considerations to bear in mind as we re- open the doors of hospitality, to be social, once more.

On the panel:

Making a nod to an early session, which explored sensory design, Kilburn kicked off the discussion by asking the panel how designers are utilising the senses in design to evolve social spaces. “The advantages of hotels is that you can offer different levels of stimulations through transition spaces as well as in social spaces,” explained Beth Campbell, CEO, Campbell House. “This helps to build the momentum and makes the experience even more meaningful.”

Charlie MacGregor, Founder, The Student Hotel (TSH), joined the panel as an example of a forward-thinking hotelier, who was among the first to push hospitality into the lifestyle lane. “By making the lobby the beating heart of a hotel, you immediately set the scene – and energy level – for guests and locals alike who are arriving,” he said. “With Covid, we have seen this new generation of corporate travellers, where people are digital nomads and want to work as well as play in spaces.”

The conversation logically went into the territory of creating subtle boundaries in public areas, which is a topic that has become high on the agenda since the Covid-19 pandemic, but also as public areas in lifestyle hotels are being designed to be multifunctional. “Lighting is becoming more and more important when it comes to curate these spaces,” He said. “As well as building spaces, you can separate them and change them as the day goes on. When designing these areas, understand the possible mise en scènes is paramount.”

Here’s the full video of the panel discussion (on demand), which was produced by CUBE and includes Product Watch Pitches by Vaughan, Leaflike and Luxiona:

The full recordings of all Hotel Designs LIVE sessions are available on-demand.

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GROHE X

GROHE wins Red Dot Award 2021 for GROHE X

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE wins Red Dot Award 2021 for GROHE X

Digital platform GROHE X, which has attracted around 222,000 visitors since it launched earlier this year, wins Red Dot Award…

Only a few months after its launch, which Hotel Designs was proud to be a part of, the digital experience hub GROHE X has been awarded the internationally renowned Red Dot Award Brands & Communication Design 2021 in the category “Digital Solutions“. Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, initiator, and CEO of Red Dot, emphasised the importance of digital solutions for the success of brands and companies, especially in today’s world.

GROHE X

“As an award winner, GROHE has proven that they think ‘outside the box’. The brand knows how to act quickly in times of crisis and use upheavals for new design approaches. In this way, they master important challenges and also make a valuable contribution to the further development of society.”

The brand experience of today and tomorrow

With GROHE X, LIXIL in the EMENA region has developed the first digital platform of its kind in the industry for its GROHE sanitary brand together with strong partners VOK DAMS, IBM and D’art. As a content hub tailored to the interests of industry target groups with zones dedicated to product, inspiration and know-how transfer alongside service-oriented offers such as tutorials and specialist events, and opportunities to connect with brand experts, GROHE X facilitates a unique user experience. Since its launch in mid-March this year, GROHE X has quickly proven to be a success. The current visitor numbers – currently 2,500 daily – prove that GROHE X is a successful creative solution that meets the communication challenges of both today and the future. GROHE X is thus seen as a driver of innovation in its own right, serving not as a replacement for traditional communication, but as a starting point for a new era of brand presentation and communication in the B2B world. GROHE X already presents itself as an alternative that is flexible enough to keep pace with the rapid developments in communication.

“GROHE X is much more than a digital trade show replacement and the 35,000 visitors and 70,000 views in the first week alone have proven us right,” commented Jonas Brennwald, Leader LIXIL EMENA and Co-CEO Grohe AG. “The platform is designed to perfectly position our communication for the future. We are delighted that with the Red Dot award we have now also received international confirmation that we have created something that is not only well designed, but also an extremely successful brand communication tool.”

Red Dot Award “Brands & Communication Design”

With around 20,000 entries, the annual Red Dot Award is one of the largest design competitions in the world. Its origins date back to 1955 and the famous Red Dot award has long since established itself as one of the most coveted seals of quality for good design. From products, brand communication and creative projects to design concepts and prototypes, the Red Dot Award documents the most important trends worldwide.

GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: GROHE

Product watch: Here’s what’s new from Arte

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Here’s what’s new from Arte

In order to kickstart this month’s editorial spotlight on wallcoverings, Hotel Designs is taking a closer look at Arte’s collections that have launched over the summer…

Arte is known for creating outrageously creative – and magnificent – wallcoverings. Since building its foundations in 1981, the brand can be found adorning the walls of both residential homes, as well as commercial interiors in more than 80 countries worldwide.

Each year, an in-house team of experienced designers work on developing new collections, striving for perfection and trendsetting design whilst simultaneously surprising the design industry with what’s possible to achieve with wallcoverings.

With the aim to continues to inspire and challenge, setting the bar for innovative design, Arte’s latest collections that were recently launched take ‘art outside the frame’ to a whole new level of detail.

Mimic Moth

Mimic Moth is an exclusive preview launching this autumn, ahead of the full collection (and third collaboration) from Arte x Moooi set to launch for SS22, inspired by new Extinct Animals. Like the current Moooi Wallcovering designs, this collection will be made from unexpected and luxurious materials. A collection in harmonious colours that brings joy and balance.

This 3D wallcovering with a soft suede look is inspired by the Mimic Moth’s shape and habitat. The wallcovering’s design is made up of embossed Mimic Moths surrounded by their favourite flowers.

Queen Cobra

Queen Cobra is the next family member of the new Moooi Wallcovering collection, which follows the launch of Mimic Moth. The collection depicts majestic looking snakes that were called so because of their long coiling hairs resembling the hairstyle of Queen Tanjii of Kemet. According to old scriptures, the snakes were gold coloured and didn’t have scales. Their skin seemed made of dried grass.

The wallcovering Queen Cobra is made from hand-woven sisal fibres, inspired by the Queen Cobra’s rhythmic curves and grassy habitat. The design comprises round overlapping shapes in a pattern with a hypnotic feel to it.

Icons

Icons is a versatile wallcoverings collection, featuring seven designs across a variety of heavier textures including shagreen leather and boucle fabric, as well as lighter options such as real rattan and silk imitation on non- woven backing. With a combination of geometric block patterns, floral motifs as well as plains in a palette of rich earthy colours, on matt and glossy finishes, designs can be easily combined in a single space to add depth to any scheme.

Arte is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Arte

25hours-hotel-firenze-paola-navone

25hours to arrive in Italy this September

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
25hours to arrive in Italy this September

The first 25hours hotel in Italy will open in Florence this September, with anything-but-subtle interiors by Milan-based designer Paola Navone…

The 25hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino occupies a central location in Florence, in the Santa Maria Novella district, which is among the most authentic and lesser-known neighbourhoods in the Italian city and a little off the beaten track.

25hours-hotel-firenze-paola-navone

The 171-key boutique hotel is situated in the former premises of Monte de ‘Pegni – the lending company of the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze – and has its central core of 66 rooms in the original monastery next to the eponymous church of San Paolino. These hallowed halls are now imbued with fresh creative energy thanks to controlled demolitions, new building elements and restored areas. Enhancing the historic core is a new annexe boasting another 104 guest rooms with balconies, as well as the Casetta del Giardino, a small apartment with a private garden and pool. 

Created by Milan-based designer Paola Navone and her team, the hotel was inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy and is brimming with light-hearted allusions to this legendary work: scenes from Hell and Paradise are playfully interspersed, offering an illuminating tour through Dante’s world of virtues and vices. Situated beneath the vast glass dome, the Restaurant San Paolino is the centrepiece of the hotel in the historical palazzo. Round about are a green courtyard garden, a classic Negroni bar and a typical alimentari – a grocery store for the neighbourhood and lively piazza that serves a small selection of food and drinks to suit the time of day.

The San Paolino restaurant epitomises Italian cuisine, offering the best produce from all regions of the country, although Tuscany occupies a special place on the menu. Changing with the seasons, there are also a few dishes from designer Paola Navone’s personal recipe collection. Guests perusing the wine list will find exclusively curated recommendations from choice wineries in Tuscany. Dining beneath the glass dome at the centre of the impressive palazzo is meant to be fun – and the imaginative design merely adds to this experience. San Paolino is a great place to meet at any time of day, and the hospitality space expands into the playful courtyard garden during the warmer months.

The Companion Bar at 25hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino appears both quintessentially Italian and strikingly international. Its signature products are bitter-sweet classics like Negroni, but include new interpretations that add a playfully seasonal touch to these flavours. The Companion Bar welcomes its guests from the aperitivo to the late-night drink and is establishing itself as a fixed star in the Florentine night life. The traditional ‘hole in the wall’, the buchetta del vino, allows guests to enjoy their glass of wine on the pavement in front of the establishment. Table bookings are not available, but personal advice from the bar crew certainly is.

Alimentari actually just means ‘food’ in Italian. But the word is also used to describe neighbourhood corner stores selling groceries and everyday items. The 25hours Hotel in Florence has its own alimentari on the small Piazza San Paolino. Besides paninis, sandwiches and salads, it also includes a traditional-style wine shop offering a selection of local products and specialities for gourmets – ideal for a culinary tour through the world of Italian delicacies. The range was curated by S. Forno, a legendary local bakery, and all of the freshly baked products come straight from their ovens, of course.

Main image credit: 25hours

The Other House Club Flat Kitchen in blue and mustard

Video exclusive: The making of The Other House (part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Video exclusive: The making of The Other House (part 1)

The first video in our exclusive concept-to-completion series with The Other House takes a tour inside what will soon be its first hotel – AKA, residents’ club. Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to the brand’s CEO and the design team, which including Bergman Design House and architecture firm Falconer Chester Hall, to understand more about the design narrative that will be sheltered inside…

The Other House Club Flat Kitchen in blue and mustard

A new era of hospitality is on the horizon. The Other House is an innovative concept that we first explored earlier this year, which, right on cue, has raised some eyebrows recently. Since joining a panel discussion on ‘a new era of lifestyle’ at Hotel Designs LIVE in May, CEO & founder Naomi Heaton – a self-confessed newcomer into the hospitality arena who aims to disrupt conventional approaches to hotel design and development – has invited our cameras in to capture the concept-to-completion story behind brand’s first property. Sheltered inside Harrington Hall, a heritage property, The Other House South Kensington will offer 200 Club Flats – all of which will feature signature, fully fitted and contemporary design – for leisure travellers and corporate visitors alike. 

With less than one year until the first residents’ club opens, here’s what we discovered when we took a sneak peek inside the building. During our access-all-areas visit, we spoke to Heaton about the pillars of the brand. In addition, we caught up with the architect at Falconer Chester Hall, Alastair Shepherd, who is responsible for carving out the body of the hospitality experience. And, to make things really interesting, we even made a visit to Bergman Design House to speak to Marie Soliman, the interior designer tasked to bring her sketches and renders to life, while sourcing as much as she possibly can locally and sustainably.

Who’s who? 

Elevating the traditional long stay and serviced apartment models, the new brand will combine beautifully designed apartments – complete with fully fitted kitchens, living and sleeping areas – with a private club exclusively for residents and members to relax and enjoy, complete with two bars, spa and fitness studio. For a local vibe, the bold public spaces will include a destination bar and all-day dining bistro (renders of these areas will be available shortly).

While targetting an audience that is conscious and cares deeply about the environmental impact hotel development can have on the planet, sustainability was one of the first pillars for The Other House. “We take a sustainable approach to renovating existing buildings and is committed to making a positive impact on the community, our employees and the environment,” explained Heaton in an earlier interview with Hotel Designs. “Our residents will be a part of our environmental journey so they can make a measurable, personal difference. There will be a focus on health and wellbeing at all the guest touchpoints and we will be using, for example, recyclable packaging, healthy, sustainably produced food and British-made furniture.”

With eight categories of Club Flats – Club Town, Club Garden, Club Courtyard, Club Mezz, Club Class, Club Vault, Club Turret and Club Access – the units range from 258 sqft (24sqm) to 581 sqft (54sqm), as well as two-, three- and four-bedroom options. The intelligent use of space revolves around the living area (rather than the bedroom) just as it does in the home, which was key for the brand to create a real sense of place and comfort.

What’s more, despite all the noise around the new era of luxury suggesting a paired back, even removed, stance on technology is the way forward, central to The Other House will be a downloadable app that offers personalisation and control through on-demand access to hotel-style services. The software, which, if seamless, meaningful, discreet and easy to use, will become a revolutionary element of the hospitality experience at The Other House. It will enable residents to manage their entire stay andexperience; tailoring their hospitality journey to their own specific needs and requirements. As a result, the software will certainly answer to modern demands that are calling for more personalised experiences.

For long-stay guests, The Other House will provide a new alternative to renting, offering any length stays, around the clock security, access to hotel style services and the very best of city living. The first of this type of accommodation that the UK has seen, it will also offer flexibility for residents to book in and out. With stays bookable from a day to a year, The Other House offers a stylish solution for those looking for a city base. And services such as clothes and luggage storage between trips makes it perfect for guests looking for a regular London pied-à-terre a few days each week.

Establishing itself as a ‘one to watch’ on the glabal hospitality scene, with a forward-thinking concept and immersive design scheme, The Other House South Kensington is the first residents’ club to be launched. The brand is on track to open in other ‘villages’ throughout central London, including Covent Garden by 2023, before rolling out internationally. 

In the next video in our exclusive concept-to-completion editorial series with The Other House, produced by CUBE, we will rejoin the development and design team ahead of the opening of the brand’s first residents’ club. In this video, we will explore more about the technology behind-the-scenes, as well as understand how the drawings, sketches and renderings have been brought to life. By then, we may also have more news and exclusive design details about the interior scheme behind the heavy doors of the brand’s second property in Covent Garden. 

Main image credit: The Other House | Video credit: CUBE

Hotel Designs LIVE: Surface Trends

Hotel Designs LIVE: Surface design trends

730 565 Hamish Kilburn